ATM Gene Mutations: What You Need to Know

ATM Gene Mutations: What You Need to Know

You shouldn’t neglect the dangers of dealing with a mutation in the ATM gene, as it could pose a threat to your health. Furthermore, members of your family can also be affected by such a mutation. Of course, we’re talking only about those people who are related to you by blood.

Thanks to the official website of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (, we can now learn about the dangers of such a condition.

The ATM gene is normally responsible for protecting the individual against cancer. However, a mutation in this gene will cause it to malfunction and pose a health risk.

At the same time, having a mutation in the ATM gene doesn’t automatically mean that you’re condemned to deal with cancer in some point in life. It only means that your risk of dealing with cancers increases, which is a huge difference.

ATM gene mutation increases the risk of breast cancer

If you have an ATM gene mutation, you’re more at risk for dealing with breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. However, the latter condition is significantly less common than breast cancer in the case of people who deal with an ATM gene mutation.

It’s worth keeping in mind that researchers also have a hunch that an ATM mutation might also make you more susceptible to ovarian and prostate cancer, although more research is still needed in this regard.

What to do if you have an ATM mutation

Your genetic counselor is the most justified person to inform you about your cancer risk in case you have an ATM mutation. Personal and family history of cancer are also important in this scheme, as you will receive cancer screening recommendations based on them. You might even have to have cancer screenings more often compared to most people. Finding any possible cancer in your body will be a ‘must,’ which means that specialized screenings are mandatory.

Should blood relatives be worried?

In case you have an ATM mutation, there’s a 50% chance for your blood relatives, such as your parents, siblings, and kids, to deal with the same mutation.

Genetic testing for your blood relatives will possibly be needed, and your genetic counselor will have the task of reviewing your family history.

If, on the other hand, you are dealing with an ATM mutation and wish to have children, there are ways to prevent your future offspring from inheriting that mutation from you.

A rare case can happen if you and your life partner both have a mutation in the ATM gene. In this case, there is a chance for your child to be born with ataxia-telangiectasia (uh-TAK-see-uh-teh-LAN-jee-ek-TAY-zhuh), which is a serious health condition. It’s a rare disorder that affects the immune system, the nervous system, as well as other systems of the body.

The 5-year relative survival rate in the case of women in the US who have non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is estimated at 91%. On the other hand, the 10-year relative survival rate for females who have non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is evaluated at 85%. Although it’s less dangerous compared to other cancers, breast cancer can become fatal for the patient if it’s left unchecked.

It’s also worth knowing that many people who suffer from localized or regional breast cancer can survive for 20 years or even longer if they have been diagnosed and treated in the right way by the doctors.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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