Cancer gene found in minorities

As if minorities don’t need another “issue”, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that a genetic mutation known to increase the odds of breast cancer in some Jewish women has been found in significant numbers of Hispanic and African-American breast cancer patients as well, underscoring the need for genetic testing across ethnic lines to determine who is at risk.

A large multiracial study released Wednesday estimated that 3.5 percent of Hispanic women with breast cancer have a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. That compares with 8.3 percent of female Ashkenazi Jews (those of Eastern European ancestry), 2.2 percent of other non-Hispanic whites and 0.5 percent of Asian-Americans.

The prevalence of the gene in black women with breast cancer was estimated at 1.3 percent, but among those who are diagnosed before they are 35, a startling 16.7 percent have the mutation.

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Filed under african american, black women, health, news, race, women

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