CHICAGO (AP) — New research suggests that bad genes may be responsible for more breast cancer cases in black women than has been previously known. About 1 in 5 African-American women with the disease have an inherited mutation that drastically raises their risk for breast and ovarian cancer, according to a study released Monday.
It may help explain why black women have higher rates of breast cancer at young ages, a more aggressive form of the disease, and worse survival. It doesn’t mean that all black women are at risk or even that all blacks with cancer need genetic counseling or testing, said the study’s leader, Dr. Jane Churpek of the University of Chicago.
Experts offer some advice about what to make of this information:
Q. What are the genes?
A. Mostly BRCA1 and BRCA2. Everyone has two copies of these genes, and a mutation in one can give a woman up to an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer and up to a 54 percent risk for ovarian cancer. Sixteen other genes also can raise risk but are thought to be less common.
Q. Why might blacks have high risk?
A. African-Americans’ genes are more diverse than those of many other racial and ethnic groups. Most of the mutations identified in this study were novel, or unique to each woman, Churpek said. It’s possible that more detailed tests in whites and other groups might find a higher prevalence of mutations than previous studies have found in them, too.
Q. Should more black women be tested?
A. National guidelines do not specify any groups that should be tested except Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish women with breast or ovarian cancer or a close relative who has had one of those diseases. Genetic counseling should be offered to black women who develop breast cancer before age 50, who have a close relative with the disease, or who have “triple-negative” breast cancer. Triple negative means tumors that are not fueled by estrogen, progesterone or the gene that the drug Herceptin targets.
Q. What can be done if a gene mutation is found?
A. Women who find the mutation after they have breast cancer may want to consider removing both breasts or their ovaries. Those who are screened before cancer develops can consider more frequent screening and prevention measures ranging from hormone-blocking drugs to removal of breasts and ovaries. They also can let relatives know about potential family risk.
Q. Why did this study find so many more gene flaws?
A. Standard tests look for just a few common mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. The tests cost around $3,000, and insurance will often cover them if a woman has a family history suggesting high risk. A second $750 test is needed to look for a different type of genetic flaw. That test often is not done or covered by insurance.
In the Chicago study, researchers decoded, or sequenced, all 18 genes tied to breast cancer risk, so it could pick up all types of mutations in any of them.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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