Breast cancer risk increased with newly discovered gene

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

Although scientists have known for decades that a faulty BRCA gene can greatly increase the risk of someone developing breast cancer, new research has found that a less common gene can also affect someone's chances for breast cancer.

According to the Associated Press, a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed that this gene can make breast cancer nine times more likely to develop as the previously discovered genes.

The new gene has been dubbed the "PALB2" gene, and the research focused around 362 members of 154 different families that were actively shown to carry the PALB2 gene. Those with the gene appeared to have a 50 percent chance of developing some form of breast cancer by age 70, and the risks increased if two or more other family members were found to have the disease already.

Medscape Multispecialty News reports that, although the PALB2 mutations are not as frequent as the traditional BRCA mutations, the risks associated with the new discovery are important in continuous steps taken to eradicate breast cancer and lower the frequency of it in society.

Those with the gene are recommended to undertake genetic counseling and other preventive measures, such as hormone pills or breast removal entirely. As always, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can also help lower the risk of cancer and other diseases within society.

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