Sunday, 8 April 2012

New genetic mutation found that can indicate increased hereditary breast cancer susceptibility

New genetic mutation found that can indicate increased hereditary breast cancer susceptibility

If your mother or sister has breast cancer, your chances of developing this deadly disease are doubled (Solyom et al, 2012).  It’s confronting statistics like these that have led researchers to develop tests available to families with a history of breast cancer which screen for certain genetic mutations known to increase cancer susceptibility.  This could allow you to take proactive measures that increase the chance of early detection and reduce the likelihood of onset.

These tests screen for genetic mutations that are known to play key roles in increasing cancer susceptibility.  The two main such genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2.  These are directly involved with DNA repair and closely interact with many other genes.  Therefore, it follows that mutations in these other genes could also lead to increased cancer susceptibility.  Currently there are around 14 of these genes that are known to exist and recent investigations by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine (University of Pennsylvania) and the University of Oulu (Finland) provide strong evidence that a mutation in the Abraxas gene should be added to this list.