Women's Age, Genes Affect Ovarian Cancer
Research appearing in the Wednesday (4-17) Journal of the National Cancer Institute links the gene BRCA1 with ovarian cancer in ten to 20 percent of the cases involving women under 50. The gene, also linked to breast cancer in young women, tells the body how to build a protein that blocks cancer, unless the gene mutates. A patient's age at the onset of ovarian cancer is a key factor in determining whether she inherited the faulty gene, the report states. According to Johnathan Lancaster, researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, women who have the gene mutation have a 90 percent chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer. The findings, which Lancaster said need more study, could change the way doctors treat and counsel women with ovarian cancer.
Media Resources: The Nando Net and The Raleigh, NC News and Observer - April 17,1996; Reuters - April 16, 1996