Women Will Be Able to Know More About Their Breast Cancer Risk
Written By:Dr. P Kishore
28 Oct, 2010 - 10:43am
Women carriers of mutated gene BRCA1 can know more about their chances of developing breast cancer in future. This addition to the existing knowledge of breast cancer has come from the study funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and researchers from numerous medical and scientific research centers around the world. The study was published in the medical journal Nature Genetics.The scientist aimed to identify if any additional genetic variants were responsible for increasing the risk of breast cancer in women with a mutation of the BRCA1 gene. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the genes that under normal conditions help the body suppress tumors. If there is a mutation in either of these genes, it leads to an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The researchers analyzed the genetic make-up of 1,193 women with BRCA1 mutations who had been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer before they reached 40 years of age. They compared the gathered data with that of 1,190 women aged over 35 who also had the mutation on BRCA1 gene but had not been diagnosed with breast cancer. From the research it was observed that a variation at the particular region on the chromosome 19 seemed to either increase or decrease the chances of breast cancer risk associated with BRCA1 mutation. The researchers have identified two new variants associated with and increased risk of breast cancer in carriers of BRCA1 and three variants associated with a reduced risk. The research can be of great use in assessing the risk of disease in women who are the carriers of mutated BRCA1 gene. The researchers have showed they can use genome-wide association studies to further identify gene variants that might put a woman at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. The study was well conducted and it has furthered our genetic knowledge of breast cancer, identifying the genetic variants that are more common in women with the BRCA1 mutation causing them to develop breast cancer. The study makes it clear why some women do not develop breast cancer despite having the BRCA1 mutation. This knowledge would prove to be very helpful for the early diagnosis of the disease and further focused research. The study however is still at it early stage and concluding anything from this alone would be wrong. Further studies would help us understand more about the disease and hopefully would lead to a better screening facility in future and prevent the disease from getting ugly. Till then, women can help themselves by ideally visiting a physician monthly for breast screening. It would help in early diagnosis and thus a better treatment for the individual.