13:37 31 March 2013
A recent study, participated by more than 1,000 experts and which is considered the biggest of its kind, found that there are more than 80 genetic markers that can increase the risk of developing cancer.
The scientists studied the DNA of 200,000 people and compared those with cancer from those who do not have the disease. This revealed an individual’s inherited risk of certain cancers.
The scientist looked for common genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms linked to ovarian, prostrate, and ovarian cancer. Each alteration increased the risk of cancer by small amount.
According to the study, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in eight. However, among the 1per cent with lots of these newly identified genetic variations, the risk increases to one in two.
Dr Antonis Antoniou, CRUK senior fellow at the University of Cambridge, said: "Our research puts us on the verge of being able to give women a much more accurate picture of how likely they are to develop breast or ovarian cancer and would help to guide them about the most appropriate type and time of prevention or monitoring options for them."
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