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Women who have a family history of breast cancer may want to consider seeking a cancer test, as a new study has found that genetic factors that can be passed from generation to generation may play a role in the development of the disease.
Researchers from Oxford University took blood samples from 10,306 women with breast cancer and 10,393 who were cancer-free. They then analyzed the samples for genetic variations.
They found that individuals with two specific variant genes were significantly more likely to have breast cancer. There was no genetic correlation found in the group of women who did not have cancer.
Gillian Reeves, who led the investigation, said that the understanding of genetic risk factors is still in its infancy and it is too early to recommend that women should have their blood analyzed for variants. However, the knowledge may help scientists design new drugs for treating the disease.
She added that women should continue to follow their doctor's advice for traditional screening measures, especially if they have a history of breast cancer in their family.
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