Breast cancer in young women 'ups risk of disease in relatives'

Washington, Sep 30 (ANI): A new study has revealed that close relatives of women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 35 years are at an increased risk of developing other cancers

The findings from University of Melbourne are surprising and novel which could be pointing to the existence of a new cancer genetic syndrome.

"The results suggest there could possibly be undiscovered genes causing breast cancer in these young women, and perhaps other cancers in their families," said John Hopper, lead investigator of the study.

In the largest population based study of its kind, scientists studied 2200 parents and siblings of 500 women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 35 from across three countries, Australia, Canada and the United States.

After excluding families with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, the two known major breast cancer susceptibility genes, they found that close relatives were at increased risk of not only breast cancer, but also of cancers of the prostate, lung, brain and urinary tract.

"The results of this study could help scientists discover new cancer susceptibility genes that explain the risk of early-onset and other cancers within some families. Our next step is to conduct larger studies to further clarify these results," he concluded.

The findings of the study are published in the British Journal of Cancer today. (ANI)

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