Gene Flaws Common in Blacks With Breast Cancer

Posted at: 06/03/2013 8:01 AM | Updated at: 06/03/2013 8:04 AM
By: MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Chief Medical Director

CHICAGO (AP) - Researchers have found that gene flaws that raise the risk of breast cancer in black women may be behind more cases of the disease in black woman than previously thought.

A study of 250 African American breast cancer patients from Chicago found that about one-fifth of them had one of these faulty genes.

A mutation in one of the BRCA genes recently led actress Angelina Jolie to have preventive surgery to remove her breasts.

Doctors say genetic counseling should be offered to black women who develop breast cancer at an early age or a particularly aggressive type. They may want to consider more frequent screening or preventive options, which include less drastic measures than breast removal.

The study was discussed Monday at a cancer conference in Chicago.

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