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Gene Increases Risk of Breast Cancer to 1-in-3 by Age 70

Breast cancer risks for one of the potentially most important genes associated with breast cancer after the BRCA1/2 genes have been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Women with mutations in the PALB2 gene have on average a 1-in-3 chance of developing breast cancer by the age of seventy.

In a study run through the international PALB2 Interest Group, a team of researchers from 17 centers in eight countries led by the University of Cambridge analyzed data from 154 families without BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, which included 362 family members with PALB2 gene mutations. The effort was funded by the European Research Council, Cancer Research UK and multiple other international sources.

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Patient Navigation May Aid in Breast Cancer Treatment in High-Risk Populations

Patient navigation, or the linking of a newly diagnosed cancer patient with a professional trained in assisting patients though the complex journey of cancer diagnosis and treatment, may lead to better breast cancer care in high risk and minority women. The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, is the first national study to show a relationship between navigators and the initiation of certain recommended treatments in breast cancer.

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Mammography Benefits Women Over 75

Mammography-detected breast cancer is associated with a shift to earlier stage diagnosis in older women, subsequently reducing the rate of more advanced, difficult-to-treat cases, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology. Researchers said the findings lend support to regular mammography screening in women ages 75 and older.

The value of mammography screening in older women has been subject to much debate in recent years. The American Cancer Society recommends annual mammograms for women age 75 and older as long as they are in good health, while the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) does not recommend mammography screening in this age group, citing insufficient evidence to evaluate benefits and harms.

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Protein ZEB1 Promotes Breast Tumor Resistance to Radiation Therapy

Twist, Snail, Slug. They may sound like words in a children's nursery rhyme, but they are actually the exotic names given to proteins that can generate cells with stem cell-like properties that have the ability to form diverse types of tissue.

One protein with the even more out-there name of ZEB1 (zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1), is now thought to keep breast cancer cells from being successfully treated with radiation therapy, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

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