In western countries breast cancer affects approximately 1 in every 10 to 12 women. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women in these countries and the leading cause of overall mortality in women aged 35 to 55 years. Many risk factors for breast cancer have been identified including menstrual history. reproductive behavior, exogenous hormones, and a positive family history for the disease. Although most of these factors have only a small impact on breast cancer risk, the role of familial susceptibility can increase the risk for breast cancer up to a lifetime risk of close to 50% (Claus et al, 1994 ). Genetic susceptibility for breast cancer obtained attention and practical relevance upon the identification of the first two major breast cancer susceptibility genes, BR(east)CA(ncer)1 and BRCA2 (Miki et al, 1994; Wooster et al, 1995). Breast cancer, like all cancers, is a 'genetic' disease, as it results from an accumulation of somatic mutations in genes or the altered expression of genes in the absence or presence of germline mutations.

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Het onderzoek waarop dit proefschrift is gebaseerd werd verricht vanuit de afdelingen Interne Oncologie en Klinische Genetica, Erasmus Medisch Centrum te Rotterdam, met financiele steun van de Nederlandse Kankerbestrijding I Koningin Wilhelmina Fonds (project DDHK 95-953). De uitgave van dit proefschrift kwam tot stand met financiele steun van de Henny C. Dirven Stichting en de Nederlandse Kankerbestrijding
M.F. Niermeijer (Martinus) , J.G.M. Klijn (Jan)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verhoog, L. (2003, October). Oncological and genetic aspects of heriditary breast cancer associated with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. Retrieved from