In The 21St Century, The Advancement In Medical Technology

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In the 21st century, the advancement in medical technology has allowed DNA testing and counseling to become accessible to the general public. With the rise in population genetic curiosity of ancestral DNA markers, the tests have also been available to discover probability for diseases that have been inherited or in the genetic code through DNA mutations. According to a study in 2010, DNA screening for breast cancer is one of the most widely tested for the disease in the U.S. (Gail and Mai, 2010:666). Other pop culture factors have increased the awareness of this type of DNA counseling. In 2013 actress Angelina Jolie wrote a piece for the New York Times where she very publicly discussed her experience with BRCA testing and her decision to…show more content…
The use of DNA testing for breast cancer prevention and treatment is significant to the field of biological anthropology because it is changing the lifespan of humans with predisposed diseases. Like Angelina Jolie, those who choose to proceed with preventative care such as a double mastectomy will prolong their reproductive years as well as their overall lifespan because the cancer will be removed when it normally effects the person during their reproductive years. Breast cancer may not itself prevent pregnancy, but treatment for it may cause infertility as well as the ability for a mother to provide and care for offspring. Although there is not enough research for this to, have theoretical backing, future studies may show the effects of DNA testing and breast cancer prevention and treatment on the population. What genes are tested? BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the commonly known genes linked to breast cancer risk. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that generate tumor suppressor proteins. These proteins help repair damaged DNA and, therefore, play a role in ensuring the stability of the cell’s genetic material. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered, such that its protein product either is not made or does not function correctly, DNA damage may not be repaired properly. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer. Certain inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the potential of female breast
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