Genetic and hormonal risk factors in breast cancer

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Jul 19;92(14):1126-35. doi: 10.1093/jnci/92.14.1126.


Breast cancer poses a serious public health problem, and it is hoped that identification of genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of breast cancer will enhance prevention efforts. Two breast cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) have been identified, and germline mutations in these genes are thought to account for between 5% and 10% of all breast cancer cases. Current findings suggest that mutations in other highly penetrant genes may play an important role in breast cancer susceptibility, and studies aimed at the isolation of these genes are under way. In addition, common variants in a number of gene classes are thought to act as low-penetrance susceptibility alleles, and efforts to identify and characterize these variants are under way. This review discusses the genetic components of susceptibility to breast cancer from the standpoint of both human genetics and rat models.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Animals
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / genetics
  • Estrogens / adverse effects*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Founder Effect
  • Genes, BRCA1 / genetics
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Radiation Injuries / complications
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Rats
  • Risk Factors
  • Syndrome


  • Estrogens
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase
  • Glutathione Transferase