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Acta Oncol. 1992;31(2):151-5.

Role of genetic factors in breast cancer susceptibility.

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Dept. of Genetics, Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo.


Hereditary breast cancer is common and accounts for approximately 10-14% of all breast cancers. Knowledge of a family history of breast cancer may significantly influence diagnosis and therapy. Genetic heterogeneity has been demonstrated in familial breast cancer. Recently inherited mutations in the tumor suppressor gene p53, have been shown to be the underlying defect in the Li-Fraumeni syndrome. We have shown that defects in this gene also play a role in the predisposition to other familial breast cancers. The gene responsible for early onset familial breast and ovary cancer has recently been mapped to chromosome 17q21. For most of the sporadic breast cancers a multifactorial model, including variable genetic and environmental factors, has been considered. Two genetic risk factors which may predispose for a considerable portion of breast cancers are the gene causing ataxia telangiectasia (AT) and the gene that gives rise to proliferative breast disease (PBD). Identification of distinct genes enhancing the risk of breast cancer will give us the opportunity to identify high risk individuals. Such individuals may benefit from periodic examination affording the possibility of early diagnosis and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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