Non-BRCA1/2 Breast Cancer Susceptibility Genes: A New Frontier with Clinical Consequences for Plastic Surgeons

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Twenty percent of breast cancer cases may be related to a genetic mutation conferring an increased risk of malignancy. The most common and prominent breast cancer susceptibility genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2, found in nearly 40% of such cases. However, continued interest and investigation of cancer genetics has led to the identification of a myriad of different breast cancer susceptibility genes. Additional genes, each with unique significance and associated characteristics, continue to be recognized. Concurrently, advanced genetic testing, while still controversial, has become more accessible and cost-effective. As oncologic and reconstructive advances continue to be made in prophylactic breast reconstructive surgery, patients may present to plastic surgeons with an increasingly more diverse array of genetic diagnoses to discuss breast reconstruction. It is therefore imperative that plastic surgeons be familiar with these breast cancer susceptibility genes and their clinical implications. We, therefore, aim to review the most common non-BRCA1/2 breast cancer susceptibility genetic mutations in an effort to assist plastic surgeons in counseling and managing this unique patient population. Included in this review are syndromic breast cancer susceptibility genes such as TP53, PTEN, CDH1, and STK11, among others. Nonsyndromic breast cancer susceptibility genes herein reviewed include PALB2, CHEK2, and ataxia telangiectasia mutated gene. With this knowledge, plastic surgeons can play a central role in the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment, including successful breast reconstruction, of all patients carrying genetic mutations conferring increased risk for breast malignancies.

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