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Can Blood Test Predict Breast Cancer Risk?
Date:5/1/2012

omen at higher risk. This early warning could be used to monitor these patients and one day perhaps even prevent them from developing breast cancer.

"We know that genetic variation contributes to a person's risk of disease. With this new study, we can now also say that epigenetic variation, or differences in how genes are modified, also has a role," Flanagan said.

"We hope that this research is just the beginning of our understanding about the epigenetic component of breast cancer risk, and in the coming years we hope to find many more examples of genes that contribute to a person's risk. The challenge will be how to incorporate all of this new information into the computer models that are currently used for individual risk prediction," he noted.

"So far, we have found alterations in one small region of a gene that appear to associate with risk of disease, and so the next step with this epigenetic research is a genome-wide approach to try and find all the associated genes," Flanagan explained.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about breast cancer risk factors.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Breast Cancer Campaign, news release, May 1, 2012


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