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Breast Cancer Genes in Women Could Come from Dad

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by: Avis Ward

I recall feeling blessed and very fortunate breast cancer genes were not present in my Mother’s family tree. A news report released earlier today gave updated information. An oncologist reported many doctors often overlook the genetic risk from the father's side of the family.
A deadly gene's path can hide in a family tree when a woman does not have many aunts or a few older sisters, “making it appear that her breast cancer struck out of nowhere when it really came from Dad."
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association today. It suggests thousands of young women with breast cancer - an estimated 8,000 a year in the U.S. - aren't offered testing to identify faulty genes and clarify their medical decisions. Guidelines used by insurance companies to decide coverage for genetic testing should change to reflect the findings, said study co-author Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel of City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif. Testing can cost more than $3,000.
Dr. Weitzel said, "Interestingly, it's about Dad." He continued by saying, half of genetic breast cancers are inherited from a woman's father, not her mother. But unless Dad has female relatives with breast cancer, the faulty gene may have been passed down silently, without causing cancer. (Men can get genetic breast cancer, too, but it's not common.)
The study looked at the genetic test results from 306 women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50. None of the cancer patients in the study had a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. To get more detailed information about this study, please visit JAMA’s website. You must register if you wish to read the study in its entirety. Registration is free.
Breast Cancer Resources:
The Anerican Cancer Society - Working to Beat Breast Cancer!

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