Published: Wed, October 25, 2017
Medical | By Ismael Lynch

Major advances for the screening of breast cancer

Major advances for the screening of breast cancer

Dr. Eng says the next step is to look at whether they could target the bacteria that is specifically in the breast cancer tissue with treatment, or even better, pinpoint the problem area and target it before the breast cancer has a chance to develop.

After studying 122,977 cases of ER-positive cases, researchers can explain an additional 4 percent of that heritable breast cancer risk.

Professor Doug Easton from the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology and a Fellow at Homerton College, the University of Cambridge - one of the lead investigators on the study - says: "These findings add significantly to our understanding of the inherited basis of breast cancer".

For the breast cancer study, researchers examined the tissue of 78 patients who underwent mastectomies related to breast cancer.

The newly identified risk regions almost double the number that are already known, thereby bringing the number of known common variants associated with breast cancer to around 180. Seven of the mutations found lead to a type of breast cancer that doesn't respond to traditional hormonal therapies, like tamoxifen.

According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, more than 200-thousand women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

Yet breast cancer is still one of the most deadly forms of cancer for many women in the U.S., coming second only to lung cancer for some demographic groups.

One of the largest medical probes ever conducted for breast cancer has found 179 separate mutations which can be passed on through families.

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As for Stacy, she left her appointment with good news.

United States co-author Professor Peter Kraft, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said the findings revealed a wealth of new information about the genetic mechanisms underlying the disease.

"We get grant funding through pharmaceutical companies and donations like the New Brunswick Fire Department", said Dorothy Reed, president and co-founder of the Sisters Network "It's hard economic times for everyone so when somebody just gives you a donation it's really a blessing".

Mutant versions of the two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 have by far the biggest impact on breast cancer risk.

Read the full ER-negative study in Nature Genetics.

Researchers from Quebec city are now hoping to obtain the necessary financing to assess the feasibility and acceptability of this new method of assessing the risk of breast cancer.

'These gene changes now have the potential to be incorporated into existing models to more accurately predict an individual's risk, and to improve both prevention and early detection of the disease.

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