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Gene testing for TN breast cancer sufferers

Women diagnosed with triple-negative (TN) breast cancer should also be offered testing for gene faults which increase their risk of ovarian cancer.

That is according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer, which found women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene have a much higher chance of developing breast cancer but also a greater risk of ovarian cancer.

Consequently researchers, who examined more than 300 women with TN breast cancer, maintain all women under 50 who are diagnosed with the disease should also be offered testing for faults in the BRCA1 gene.

Women with mutations in the gene have up to a 65% chance of developing breast cancer by the time they are 70 and a 40% chance of ovarian cancer.

By testing for faults in the gene hundreds of extra women every year, who may benefit from tailored therapy for BRCA1 breast cancer, could be identified. Women would also be able to tell their families if they have the BRCA1 gene, enabling close relatives to be tested for the hereditary gene.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Targeted screening would be a good thing for women in this group. Preventive post-menopausal laparoscopic oopherectomy could be offered to those in vulnerable groups.

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