Mothers whose babies have cancer at greater risk of breast cancer

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London, Jan 20 (UNI) Mothers whose babies have cancer are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer, according to a study.

The mutation of a gene known as p53-- which all of us have and which normally suppresses cancer-- could mean that mothers and their children are more susceptible to the disease.

The faulty gene could affect steroid and hormone levels in the womb, which may not only predispose children to cancer but also sensitise mothers' breast tissue.

The groundbreaking study follows research which identified a link between children with soft-tissue sarcomas-- a form of cancer usually found in teenagers-- and mothers with breast cancer.

The study shed fresh light on inherited forms of cancer which could eventually lead to better identifying of those most at risk.

The study was conducted by Manchester University scientists led by Dr Dong Pang. It showed the heightened risk of breast cancer among mothers of children with solid tumours was not uniform across all groups, but was associated with a small number of tumour types and patient characteristics.

Breast cancer cases were found most frequently in mothers of children with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissues.

Mothers were also more likely to develop breast cancer in cases where the child had skin cancer or a cancer affecting the central nervous system.

UNI XC YA RS1418

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