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Breast cancer gene mutation more common in Hispanic, young black women, Stanford/NCCC study finds
Date:12/25/2007

panic women in the study were more likely to carry a particular mutation that's also common in Ashkenazi Jewish women. Other ethnic groups carried a wide range of different mutations.

John and Whittemore think the Hispanic women may have this mutation because of their Spanish ancestry. Spain was the home of Sephardic Jews who could have shared the mutation with Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern European origin.

The prevalence of the mutation in young African-American women with breast cancer also came as a surprise, given that the rate is low in the overall African-American population. The researchers say the finding is consistent with a long-known pattern that when young African-American women get breast cancer it tends to be a particularly aggressive form of the disease, which is a hallmark of tumors that arise from BRCA1 mutations. Whittemore said this information doesn't change how doctors treat those tumors, but it could help prompt more doctors to recommend genetic counseling for those young African-American breast cancer patients.


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Contact: Amy Adams
amyadams@stanford.edu
650-723-3900
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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