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Scientists Discover More Genetic Links to Breast Cancer

The link between breast cancer and hereditary genetics is well known, and now scientists have found evidence of an increased risk of breast cancer in 110 genes.

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has revealed that in the most comprehensive study of the disease using a pioneering technique that analyses maps of DNA regions, researchers can identify the actual genes involved in raising a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.

Scientists looked at 63 areas of the genome previously associated with the risk of breast cancer by mapping studies and in the process, found 32 links to the length of time women survived breast cancer, which is important in the development of the disease and targeting future treatments.

The results of the study, which has features in Nature Communications, may be of interest to breast cancer patients or survivors, who wish to ensure their own children and other family members are aware if they are carrying the high-risk breast cancer genes.

“More women are now being diagnosed with breast cancer than ever before, and these crucial findings could ultimately help us more accurately predict who is most at risk and develop new targeted treatments,” stated Barnoness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, which helped to fund the study.

“Ultimately, our study could pave the way for new genetic tests to predict a woman’s risk, or new types of targeted treatment,” added Dr Olivia Fletcher, Team Leader in Functional Genetic Epidemiology at ICR.

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