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Genetic testing for breast cancer

Barbara L. Weber
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 3 Number 1: Page 12 (February 1996)

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Abstract: Identification of BRCA1, the first major susceptibility gene for breast cancer, has provided new leads and sparked intensive research. Testing for mutated BRCA1 now is the basis for disease risk prediction in women with a family history of breast cancer. Current study focuses on reliable detection and interpretation of BRCA1 mutations, and on potential for cancer prevention. The dilemma is that mutation carriers cannot turn to reliable preventive measures upon being informed of their own risk. Understanding how the gene functions normally and what processes are affected by mutation will provide important information on the development and prevention of breast cancer.

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