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

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

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

The BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 breast cancer genetic mutations appear at a higher rate in the genes of Ashkenazi Jewish women. According to the American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures 2017, an estimated 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,610 will die from the disease this year.

Professor Chenevix-Trench said a greater understanding of a particular woman's risk of developing breast cancer could help to change the age at which she was offered mammogram screening. Some of the common risks factors would certainly include family history, gene mutations like BRCA1, BRCA2 and p53, early menarche, late menopause, first child at a late age or no childbearing, obesity among others.

Possessing a broken version of either of these genes is thought to account for as much as 10 percent of all breast cancers, and about 15 percent of ovarian cancers. Various studies suggest that a moderately active lifestyle with at least 30 minutes of exercising five days a week and a balanced diet can go a long way in protecting women from the risk of breast cancer.

The additions almost double the number of genetic markers known to scientists, providing a trove of data for future studies to investigate in search of better understanding, new detection methods, and potentially more effective treatments. The researchers found that non-cancerous breast tissue had more of a certain type of bacteria, and the cancerous tissue had other types that were elevated.

"About eight out of nine women with breast cancer don't have a family history, so such a test would not help most women", she said.

Read the full ER-negative study in Nature Genetics.

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"Imagine if we could, instead of giving chemotherapy that not only hits the cancer but every cell in the body, imagine if we could just give something that targets the cancer, wherever it may be, breast or otherwise", Eng said.

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Others, known as oestrogen-receptor negative, are not affected by the hormone and are more hard to treat.

Professor Peter Kraft at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, USA, says: "Given the size of these studies, we expected that we would find a lot of new breast cancer risk variants, but the studies tells us a lot more about which genes are involved, revealing many previously unsuspected genes and genetic mechanisms underlying breast carcinogenesis".

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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