Breast Cancer & Basal Cell Carcinoma
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Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer with most associated with UV exposure. Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer that can affect women. Annual skin cancer screenings are recommended to detect skin cancer starting as early as the age of 18 while mammograms are recommended for early detection of breast cancer starting at either the age of 40 or 45.
Recommended Health Screenings
Weight & Height
Skin Cancer Screening
Cholesterol (if risk factors)
Blood work as discussed with your primary
|18-64||Every 3 years||
Pap smears for women
|40 or 45 and above||Annual||
Mammogram for women
|45 or 50 and above||Varies based on risk factors||
|50 and above||Annual||
People with multiple skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma are at higher risk for breast cancer in addition to cancers of the colon, prostate, and blood. The increased susceptibility is most likely from mutations in genes that normally code for proteins that work to repair the DNA of our cells. A recent study showed that people who had 6 or more basal cell carcinomas in a 10 year period of time were 3x more likely to develop an unrelated cancer such as breast, colon, prostate or blood. The specific genes reviewed in this study were APC, BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDH1, CHEK2, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, NBN, and PALB2.
In terms of some specific genes, an increased risk of breast cancer has been associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. Some studies have demonstrated that women with the BRCA2 gene mutation may carry a slightly higher risk of both melanoma and basal cell carcinoma. These findings have not been consistently found in various studies so it is difficult to state with certainty if there is a direct connection.
The key to understanding the important of this information is to recognize that in those individuals with multiple basal cell carcinoma diagnoses, it is worth discussing with your healthcare provider the role that earlier screenings or closer surveillance can play in cancer detection.