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Family link does not raise risk of cancer

WOMEN do not have a higher risk of getting breast cancer just because someone in the family has cancer genes according to new research.

The findings may bring comfort to high-risk families after a study suggested that having a relative with a cancerous mutation raised their risk of cancer.

The average woman has about a 12 to 13pc chance of developing breast cancer. caused by gene abnormality.

Women with these mutations have a five to 20 times higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. Many of these women elect to have their breasts or ovaries removed.

But a 2007 study suggested that even though women did not carry the family breast cancer mutation, they still had a two to five times higher risk of developing breast cancer.

There was no evidence of an increased breast cancer risk among women who were non-carriers.

hnews@herald.ie


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