Taking a look at breast cancer's impact on the two

25 October, 2017, 00:20 | Author: Andrea Terry
  • Breast cancer

"For example, one study found that women who got plenty of vitamin D in early life - either in their diet or by spending time outdoors, where sun exposure triggers vitamin D production in the skin - had a lower risk for breast cancer", as mentioned on Harvard's online health portal.

Of the variants uncovered by the team and reported in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics, 65 are common variants that predispose to breast cancer and a further seven predispose specifically to oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer - the subset of cases that do not respond to hormonal therapies, such as the drug tamoxifen.

While significant progress in the fight against breast cancer has been made, more needs to be done.

Scientists now believe a simple blood test could identify women at greater risk to establish much earlier diagnosis. "That is one of those ways we find breast cancer in those early stages".

"These findings may inform improved risk prediction, both for the general population and BRCA1 mutation carriers", says Associate Professor Roger Milne at Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne. When the researchers took a closer look at these, they found distinct patterns specific to breast cancer.

The total known number of mutations that can lead to breast cancer is now 180.

The world's biggest genetic study of breast cancer has discovered 72 gene mutations that put women at higher risk and could become targets for treatment.


In 2017, it is estimated that 17,586 women and 144 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Breast Cancer Network Australia.

U.S. co-author Professor Peter Kraft, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said the findings revealed a wealth of new information about the genetic mechanisms underlying the disease.

However, not all cancer cells carry this receptor - these are known as oestrogen-receptor negative.

Cancer patients who opt for alternative medicines over conventional treatment are two-and-a-half times more likely to die within five years of diagnosis, research revealed in August.

While 41 percent of those receiving conventional treatment for lung cancer survive for at least five years, only 20 percent of those opting for alternative medicines do so, the research adds.

"But there are other risk factors".

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of the charity Breast Cancer Now, said: 'This is another exciting step forward in our understanding of the genetic causes of breast cancer. However, we have developed a mathematical algorithm that incorporates the effect of each of the variations worn by a woman and which calculates from this the probability of her developing breast cancer, " says Simard, who sees in this new tool a way to identify women without a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, but who are at high risk of suffering from such a cancer.

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