Breast Cancer Study Helps Researchers Better Understand the Disease

New hope for finding breast cancer ahead of time

"There are many different types of breast cancer and all of those have different reasons why they develop. 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.

By comparing the genes of those diagnosed with the condition with those who had no history of breast cancer, the researchers were able to identify 65 variations of genes that contributed to the disease's development. Nationally, October is breast cancer awareness month and Brown's wants to help support the cause locally by mobilizing the entire organization.

As with most cancers, the difference between cooperative tissues and rogue cells going into business for themselves can come down to a few mutated genes.

"We have developed new methods to try and predict what these genetic variants are doing and what genes they are acting on".

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Yet breast cancer is still one of the most deadly forms of cancer for many women in the United States, coming second only to lung cancer for some demographic groups.

Genetic studies of this sort look for "loci" - regions of DNA that increase the risk of disease. In fact, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in 2017.

United States 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.

Others, known as oestrogen-receptor negative, are not affected by the hormone and are more hard to treat.

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Mutant versions of the two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 have by far the biggest impact on breast cancer risk. "That is when it is curable and we have more treatment options if found early", McCain said. Now, we have access to more accurate mammograms, such as the Genius 3D Mammography exam, that detects more invasive cancers, reduces false positives and is clinically proven as superior for women of all ages - even those with dense breasts compared to traditional 2D mammography.

Read the full ER-negative study in Nature Genetics.

"No-one could explain to me why I was getting cancer if I, you know, wasn't genetically set up", she said.

Lifestyle changes such as diet, body weight, exercise and alcohol consumption are some of the modifiable risk factors for this disease. "If a test is developed and a woman finds out she is at high risk, what steps are in place for her to take action in reducing that risk?" she told The New Daily.

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