72 major genetic risk factors for breast cancer identified in new study

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The researchers examined genetic data, including blood samples, from a combined 275,000 women, 146,000 of whom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

During the month of October, Brown's Car Stores and owner William E. Schuiling, will donate a portion of the proceeds from every vehicle sold to local Susan G. Komen affiliates and the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation.

Professor Chenevix-Trench said a greater understanding of a particular woman's risk of developing breast cancer could help to change the age at which she was offered mammogram screening.

"This ultimately could benefit all women - in those with a strong family history and those without", an Australian researcher involved with the study, Professor Georgia Chenevix-Trench, told The New Daily.

The researchers believe that in future they could test for the genetic variants to prevent or treat the disease in women who are at higher risk.

Pinpointing specific genes is hard, but the OncoArray scientists were able to make predictions about many target genes - a first step towards designing new treatments.

They could be responsible for as much as 16 per cent of the increased risk of this cancer sub-type in women from affected families.

The newly identified risk regions almost double the number that are already known, thereby bringing the number of known common variants associated with breast cancer to around 180.

"We know that breast cancer is caused by complex interactions between these genetic variants and our environment, but these newly discovered markers bring the number of known variants associated with breast cancer to around 180".

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However most of the new variants found were in gene-regulating regions.

The findings are published today in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics.

The study looked at some 11.8million genetic "spelling mistakes" in DNA which increase breast cancer risk. "There's been a lot of research trying to figure out what that something else is".

Others, known as oestrogen-receptor negative, are not affected by the hormone and are more hard to treat.

"We get grant funding through pharmaceutical companies and donations like the New Brunswick Fire Department", said Dorothy Reed, president and co-founder of the Sisters Network "It's hard economic times for everyone so when somebody just gives you a donation it's really a blessing".

Related: Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?

Scientists behind the study say that the results will help them identify relatives of breast cancer patients who may be themselves at risk for developing the cancer.

A further seven genes were identified specifically in association with breast cancers that lacked oestrogen receptors, which don't tend to respond to hormone based therapies.

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