Genetic Variants and Lifestyle Factors have Independent Role in Causing Breast Cancer

On Wednesday, British scientists said that common genetic variations have a restricted function in causing breast cancer and work separately of lifestyle factors like weight, diet and breastfeeding that are still more significant.

In a review of over 17,000 women, canvassers discovered that though some common gene differences increase the risk of getting breast cancer, they add to, but do not proliferate, the risks created by lifestyle aspects such as obesity or alcohol consumption.

The findings did not comprise the breast cancer genes dubbed BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, which hardly ever take place, but which bestow a high risk on women who have them.

Ruth Travis of Oxford University's Cancer Epidemiology Unit said in telephone interview, "This is reassuring because... it means that whatever you inherit in terms of common gene variants, the effect of things such as maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake and being careful about HRT are still really important for reducing breast cancer risk".

Breast cancer is the most ordinary form of cancer in women in affluent countries. It takes a toll on nearly half a million people every year, globally.

Last month, British scientists said that they had found five common genetic factors related to the possibility of contracting breast cancer, adding up to 13 additional ordinary genetic risk variants.