Hereditary and Familial Breast Tumors

  • M. Ponz de Leon
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 136)

Abstract

Breast cancer is at the same time a major public health problem in all Western and developed countries, an active field of interdisciplinary collaboration, and an extremely interesting object of genetic and biomolecular investigation. There are several aspects which render this disease of particular interest and importance when compared to other neoplasms. First, breast cancer affects almost exclusively the female sex, where it represents by far the most frequent malignancy and that associated with the highest mortality rates. Second, compared to most other organs the mammary gland is fairly accessible, which explains on the one hand the high number of clinical and experimental investigations (closely dependent on the easiness of sampling) and on the other the theoretical feasibility of screening and surveillance programs. Third, together with colorectal neoplasms, breast cancer is the best example of interaction between environmental and genetic factors in tumor formation. Fourth, at least for certain subtypes of breast cancer (Li-Fraumeni syndrome), subtle biomolecular alterations have been detected which might lead to considerable advances towards the definition of the intimate mechanisms of tumorigenesis.

Keywords

Obesity Estrogen Codon Tuberculosis Sarcoma 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ponz de Leon
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Patologia Medica PoliclinicoUniversità degli Studi di ModenaModenaItaly

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