Breast-ovarian cancer, familial 4 is a cancer caused by mutations (changes) in the RAD51L3 gene. These mutations can lead to uncontrolled growth of the breast and ovarian tissues that do not respond to the body's normal signals to stop growth. Women who inherit a RAD51L3 mutation have a greater risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The severity and type of cancer varies from family to family.
The presence of a germ line mutation in RAD51L3 can often be predicted based on family history and confirmed using molecular genetic testing. However, at this time, not all types of mutations that may increase the risk of cancer have been discovered. The signs of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer may include multiple affected family members, an early age of cancer development, and cancer that affects both sides of the body, such as both the right and left breasts.
Treatment for hereditary breast-ovarian cancer can include surgery to reduce risk, medication, and preventative screening. Treatment for breast and/or ovarian cancer varies depending on the type and stage of cancer development. If you have been diagnosed with breast-ovarian cancer, familial 4, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. In addition, a genetic counselor can help discuss inheritance and the possible risks to other family members. Support groups are available for more resources and to connect with others who have or are at risk of developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.