BRCA1 & BRCA2 - new study

In a news release yesterday, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the publication of a study it funded on mutations in two breast cancer genes - BRCA1 & BRCA2.
Each year, approximately 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer. The majority of breast cancer cases are caused by genetic changes that occur during a woman's lifetime and not by genetic mutations inherited from her parents. However, researchers estimate that inherited mutations play a role in anywhere from 5 to 27 percent of all breast cancer cases. In the mid 1990s, researchers found that mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are a major cause of the hereditary form of the disease.
The advantage of the new study was its inclusion of "under-studied" groups such as African American and older women. The study's findings appear in the article "Prevalence and Predictors of BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations in a Population-Based Study of Breast Cancer in White and Black American Women Ages 35 to 64 Years" in the current issue of Cancer Research. See abstract. (Full text requires subscription or fee.)

The approximately 2300 women in the study were also participants in the Women's Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences (CARE) study of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

For the federal government information source for women's health, go to the National Women's Health Information Center.

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