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Breast cancer in younger women strongly linked to family history

A recent study by researchers at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK, has shown that family history of the disease is an important factor in women under 30 with breast cancer. A survey of a group of 99 women under 30 who had been diagnosed with breast cancer showed that a third of them had a strong history of either breast or ovarian cancer or both. Among those with a family history of cancer, 44 per cent were found to carry// mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. These genes have been linked earlier to increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer. In the group with no family history, only six per cent had BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. Researchers concluded that taking a family history of women with breast cancer and their subsequent recording would enable follow-up for those at genetic risk.

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