SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A global research effort has uncovered 72 new gene mutations linked to breast cancer.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are well-known markers for breast cancer, but they account for less than one percent of women. Many people don’t think about all of the different mutations.
Baxley sisters Sandee Oxendine and Wendy Hutcheson tested positive for the BRCA2 gene. Both chose to have a double mastectomy to prevent cancer.
They have a family history of the disease — their grandmother and mother were also diagnosed with breast cancer. Now Hutcheson is making the choice to have her 17-year old daughter tested.
“For the BRCA gene, they wanted me to wait until 21, but I think that’s too long,” Hutcheson explains. “I want her checked early. I want to know what we need to be doing for preventive care just to make sure that we’re not allowing something to happen that could be prevented.”
This new research from 300 groups around the world will nearly double the markers previously identified.
Genetic information on more than 275,000 women was included in the study — half of those women had breast cancer.
The mutations could help doctors understand why some women are more at risk of developing cancer than others.