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Ovarian cancer: Faulty gene is found by researchers

By John von Radowitz

A faulty gene has been identified that increases the risk of ovarian cancer more than three-fold.

Around 18 women in every 1,000 develop the disease. This risk rises to around 58 women in every 1,000 who have the mutated BRIP1 gene, say scientists. The defective gene prevents cells carrying out proper repairs to their DNA, eventually leading to cancer.

Researchers also found that women with the mutation were more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive, later stage ovarian cancers at an older age.

Professor Paul Pharoah, from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, said: "Our work has found a valuable piece of the puzzle behind ovarian cancer and we hope that our work could eventually form the basis of a genetic test to identify women at greatest risk. Finding these women will help us prevent more cancers and save lives. This would be important in a disease like ovarian cancer, which tends to be diagnosed at a late stage when the chances of survival are worse."

Each year around 7,100 UK women are diagnosed the disease, and more than 4,200 die from it.

Belfast Telegraph


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