Genetic test in the future could assess people’s risk of developing cancer

Scientists have recently announced in the Cancer Research journal that it is possible a genetic test is going to be available in the future which will help indicate how likely people are to get cancer. By seeing which patients are high risk, doctors will be able to test them more often and hopefully catch the disease earlier, when it is more treatable.

The research that has just been published shows how it might be possible to look at how our genes are being altered by hormones, as well as environmental factors like alcohol. Breast cancer is a type of the disease which is thought to have something which scientist refer to as a genetic switch. This is something that can either be in the on or off position, and for women unfortunate enough to have it in the on position, it can double their chance of getting breast cancer.

Scientists are looking at how this process takes place and they believe that by understanding it better they are going to have a better chance of preventing cancer from developing in the first place. This sort of prevention will give people a greatly increased chance of survival in the long-term.

The scientists working on the study have been based at Imperial College London and they were analysing blood samples that were collected from nearly 1400 women. They found that in the blood samples which had molecular modification on a certain gene that the women were much more likely to develop breast cancer.

It is possible to test for this molecular modification and so it will be easier to identify women who are more prone to get breast cancer. The scientists are not yet sure why there is a cancer risk associated with this gene, but they are certain about its correlation with the disease.