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Studies Identify Gene That Causes Breast Cancer

Recent medical studies by a team of medical scientists have made some great strides in finding the cause of breast cancer. In a thorough and extensive study of almost 5000 women, where approximately half of them already had breast cancer, this team has discovered what appears to be a common gene mutation that has about a 60% chance for an increased risk of breast cancer. This particular gene mutation was seen in about one out of every six women involved in the study.

The medical researchers state that this new discovery of the gene variant is the most important genetic risk factor associated with breast cancer found in the past 10 years. The gene is called fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2), and is important because of its widespread prevalence.

In the course of the study, the medical researchers were watching for changes in the genetic code of the gene. More specifically, they were watching for changes in single nucleotide polymorphisms, also known as SNP's) that are known to be associated in some way with breast cancer. The study discovered that women who had a faulty copy of FGFR2 had a 20% higher risk of breast cancer, and that women who had two faulty copies or altered versions had as much as a 60% likelihood of breast cancer. Additionally, the study found that one in six women who participated in the study were found to have two altered version of the gene variant.

This further affirms similar research that showed a very similar link between FGFR2 and breast cancer in women enrolled in the US Nurses Health Study group by an entirely different set of medical researchers.

A statement by David Hunter of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who was a contributor to both of these studies, indicates that these findings open up new avenues worthy of being researched to find the cause and cure for breast cancer, avenues that were previously thought to not be contributing factors.

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Source: www.articlesbase.com