Beyond BRCA, Study Reveals 72 Mutations That May Lead To Breast Cancer

More women at risk due to discovery of further cancer causing gene mutations

Don't delay mammograms! Detect breast cancer in the early stages

When the researchers took a closer look at these, they found distinct patterns specific to breast cancer.

For the breast cancer study, researchers examined the tissue of 78 patients who underwent mastectomies related to breast cancer. Now, we have access to more accurate mammograms, such as the Genius 3D Mammography exam, that detects more invasive cancers, reduces false positives and is clinically proven as superior for women of all ages - even those with dense breasts compared to traditional 2D mammography.

By combining epidemiological data with other data from breast tissue, the researchers were able to make plausible predictions of the target genes in the large majority of cases.

A further seven genes were identified specifically in association with breast cancers that lacked oestrogen receptors, which don't tend to respond to hormone based therapies.

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The studies involved collaborators from 300 different institutions, including the University of Cambridge, University Laval in Quebec and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

The new studies, published in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics, underscored the fact that the two cancer types are biologically distinct and develop differently.

While 41 percent of those receiving conventional treatment for lung cancer survive for at least five years, only 20 percent of those opting for alternative medicines do so, the research adds.

By analysing the 180 regions of the genome where are located some of the variations that predispose to breast cancer, it will be possible to determine the risk of a woman developing this cancer.

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Those identified in the new studies are relatively common - some carried by one woman in 100 and others by more than half of all women. Vitamin D levels also have a significant bearing on the development of breast cancer, "Higher blood levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer compared to women with low levels of the vitamin". The inherited component of breast cancer risk is due to a combination of rare variants in genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 that confer a high risk of the disease, and many commoner genetic variants that each confer only a small risk.

'These women may benefit from more intensive screening, starting at a younger age, or using more sensitive screening techniques, allowing early detection and prevention of the disease'.

A surprising connection has been discovered between breast cancer and bacterium.

"If you could stop that (cancer) from ever happening to you that would change my quality of life and it would have meant I could have had a second child".

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