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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Family breast cancer risk

31st October 2006

04092006_menopause1.jpgScientists have found women with a family history of breast cancer are still more at risk, even without inheriting the genes.

A UK team examined almost 300 families affected by the mutated BRCA genes known to give carriers an 85 per cent risk of developing the disease by the age of 70.

But the researchers, writing in the Journal of Medical Genetics, have also found women with a family history were three times more likely to develop breast cancer than the general population, even if they did not carry the genes.

While around two per cent of the general population develop breast cancer by age 50, 6.4 per cent of this group had developed the disease by that age.

The team argue their research means all women in high-risk families should now undergo annual screening from 40 to 49, like those women identified with the gene.

The researchers speculated the increased risk was due to inheriting other genetic factors.

Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes cause around five per cent of breast cancers.

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