BRCA is short for the BReast CAncer gene, it is a tumour suppressor gene in humans  that stabilises genetic material in a cell  therefore preventing cancer . This gene produces tumour suppressor proteins that repair DNA, which has been damaged by mutations. BRCA1 mutations can lead to cancer due to damaged or mutated DNA may not being repaired sufficiently, leading to uncontrolled cell division. BRCA1 mutations can be inherited from either parent and this mutation increases the risk of female breast and ovarian cancer, meaning that people with this inherited mutated gene tend to be diagnosed with cancer at a younger age .
1. National Breast Cancer Foundation inc. BRCA: The breast cancer gene. 2016. [cited 22/10/18]; Available from: https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/what-is-brca
2. National Cancer Institute. BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing. 2018. [cited 22/10/18]; Available from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/genetics/brca-fact-sheet