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Understanding Inherited Cancer Genes

The presence of a certain gene in women could be a foreboding of ill health. The gene in question, known to cause a condition called// Saethre-Chotzen syndrome is now associated with the risk of breast cancer. Scientists said that incidence of the gene enhances the risk of breast cancer by 20 times.

Saethre-Chotzen syndrome, known also as acrocephalosyndactyly type 3 (ACS III) and Chotzen syndrome, is a rather uncommon congenital syndrome at the rate of 1 in 25,000-50,000 live births. The condition causes an early end to one or more sutures present amid the bones of the skull. This condition may cause the victim to suffer deformities in the skull, face, hands and feet.

Scientists have cautioned women with such a syndrome to undergo regular mammograms. Prevention is any day better than cure.

Pelle Sahlin, chief physician at the Plastic Surgery Clinic, said, "We have already started to use this new knowledge in our work with patients and now recommend regular mammograms for young women with this syndrome. Several early cases of breast cancer have already been uncovered with mammography."

The recent findings assume significance as they throw light on the latest about hereditary genes and their connection with breast cancer. /M

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