Smart Woman: Doctors Find a Way to Pinpoint Cancer Risks

    New research may be able to help identify people who are at increased risk for cancer before they get it. Scientists from around the globe have uncovered dozens of genes that could increase a person's chances of developing breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

    "It's all about predicting who might get cancer and avoiding the disease if all possible. So that's the theme here. That the genetics can actually identify who is at risk and then we can catch the cancers very early or avoid them completely," says Study Author Dr. Fergus Couch.

    Scientists found 49 new markers for breast cancer. 23 genetic variations for prostate cancer and 11 for ovarian cancer. More than 100 research institutions worldwide were involved in this massive study which looked at the DNA makeup of over 200,000 people.

    While the findings were promising, doctors, like Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph,  say it's just another piece to the puzzle for now.

    "The real test is whether or not you can find treatments from identifying these genes to see if this is going to make a clinical significance," says Dr. Joseph.

    Scientists hope their findings will lead to new diagnostic tests within the next five to ten years.

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