[MOL] New Theory Suggests Breast Cancer Risk Is Relative [00069] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] New Theory Suggests Breast Cancer Risk Is Relative

New Theory Suggests Breast Cancer Risk Is Relative
    [12/01/2000; Reuters Health]

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Many breast cancers arise in a small
group of highly susceptible women, new research suggests. The
findings, which challenge conventional theories of the way breast
cancer develops, could have implications for screening and treating
women at risk. Current theories on the origin of breast cancer
suggest that cancer occurs as a result of several changes in
breast cell DNA that accumulate over time. But rather than climbing
gradually with age, breast cancer rates rise abruptly--beginning
at different ages in different families--and then stay steady,
according to Dr. Julian Peto from the Institute of Cancer Research
in Surrey, UK, and Dr. Thomas M. Mack from the University of
Southern California in Los Angeles. The authors point out that
women with breast cancer are at a high--and constant--risk of
0.7% per year for developing breast cancer in the other breast. When
the investigators studied breast cancer rates in relatives of
patients already diagnosed with breast cancer, they found that
the rate at which the identical twins of the patients developed
cancer was 1.3% per year, or roughly 0.7% per breast. This rate
was also constant once they were older than the age at which
the original patient had developed the cancer.

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