Bowel cancer risk 'tripled'14th December 2007
Researchers working in the UK have said they have discovered particular genetic "mutations" which could increase the danger of developing bowel cancer threefold.
The study, paid for by Cancer Research UK, uncovered the first genetic link to bowel cancer earlier in 2007. Now the researchers have found two additional mutations which they say could double or triple an individual's risk of the disease.
The team said in the Nature Genetics journal that this genetic link could account for a third of the 36,000 cases of the disease diagnosed every year.
Bowel cancer is the third most prevalent cancer after breast and lung cancer. It is the cause of nearly 16,100 fatalities in the the UK annually. More than three-quarters of cases of the disease occur in people aged over 60.
In early 2007, the team said that they had found the genome which caused Hereditary Mixed Polyposis Syndrome (HMPS). HMPS raised the danger of bowel cancer in Jewish people of Ashkenazi descent.
The researchers returned to examine the genetic link in the region but saw that the mutations within HMPS were also occurring in bowel cancer cases amongst the wider population.
Professor Ian Tomlinson, joint lead researcher at the Institute of Cancer Research said he was very pleased with the research: "Finding out that a region we thought was only relevant to bowel cancer risk in Ashkenazi Jews was also related to risk in the wider UK population is very important."
"This could help us understand how different variants of the same gene affect risk and how genes interact to increase overall risk."
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Thursday 20th December 2007 @ 12:05
It is all very well making new discoveries, but it may be more useful to apply current knowledge.
Colon cancer: Prognosis for different latitudes, age groups and seasons shows survival is highest for summer and autumn diagnosis when Vitamin D status is highest.
Why don't we apply that knowledge and ensure vitamin D status is raised to optimal 125nmol/l whenever the possibility of cancer is being investigated?
Even the fundamentally flawed Freedman cancer study had to acknowleged 72% fewer colon cancers occured when Vitamin D status was above 80nmol/l.
Why don't we apply this knowledge now we know the winter UK average vitamin D3 status is below 40nmol/l and at it's peak in August the average UK adult has a status around 70nmol/L, still below the level for lowest cancer incidence.
It is pointless doing new research if we do not apply the knowledge we have already gained from previous research. There is an urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin d that is effective.
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Title: Bowel cancer risk 'tripled'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5118
Date Added: 14th Dec 2007