However the discovery of 73 new genes not known about previously now put the total contribution of our genes to a breast cancer diagnosis at 18 per cent.
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"We think that this ability to pinpoint the genes associated with risk of breast cancer will eventually enable us to develop more effective screening interventions and even risk-reduction medications and treatments", Dr Beesley said. "Imagine if we could, instead of giving chemotherapy, that not only hits the cancer, but every cell in the body, imagine if we could just give something that targets the cancer, wherever it may be, breast or otherwise", says Dr. Eng.
"These findings may inform improved risk prediction, both for the general population and BRCA1 mutation carriers", says Associate Professor Roger Milne at Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne. The researchers found that non-cancerous breast tissue had more of a certain type of bacteria, and the cancerous tissue had other types that were elevated.
Increased level of physical activity in the form of regular exercise is associated with a decreased risk for breast cancer, and this has been validated by numerous studies.
"The quebec program of breast cancer screening starts at 50 years old because it is considered that women begin to be at risk from that age". Various studies suggest that a moderately active lifestyle with at least 30 minutes of exercising five days a week and a balanced diet can go a long way in protecting women from the risk of breast cancer.
Others, known as oestrogen-receptor negative, are not affected by the hormone and are more hard to treat.
For the breast cancer study, researchers examined the tissue of 78 patients who underwent mastectomies related to breast cancer.
Early detection and aggressive treatments have seen a decline in deaths from the disease, with survival rates now at around 90 percent after five years. "That is when it is curable and we have more treatment options if found early", McCain said.
'Crucially, the discovery of 10 new genetic variants that predispose women to ER-negative (oestrogen receptor negative) breast cancer could be particularly important'. QIMR Berghofer senior researcher Jonathan Beesley said researchers now knew much more about the genetic mechanisms that might cause breast cancer.