University of Washington’s researchers suggested women who have breast cancer or risk of breast cancer should receive comprehensive genetic tests


In Ashkenazi Jewish women, three common variants on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes could greatly increase the risk of developing breast cancer. However, the three variants only account for a small portion of breast cancer patients in women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Researchers screened 23 genes labeled as high risk for breast cancer in 1007 Ashkenazi Jewish women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. They found only 10% of the women harbored the three common mutations, 0.8% had different mutations on BRCA1/2, and 2% had variants in other candidate genes. The results suggested Ashkenazi Jewish women with breast cancer should undergo a more comprehensive genetic test, so that they would not miss other important genetic information. The screening should at least include BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK1, CHEK2 and TP53. Researchers also suggested women over 30 years old should receive genetic tests for genes with high risk for breast cancer as part of their routine medical check-ups.


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