Study: breast cancer more likely among African Americans

(WTVM) - There is new research about one of the most feared diseases among women – breast cancer.

Scientists now say they believe a new study shows genetic mutations associated with breast cancer are more common in African-American women than women of other races.

Researchers say mutations of the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes, which can cause breast and ovarian cancers, can be inherited.

The study found more than one-fifth of black women with breast cancer who took part in the research carried BRCA mutations.

"African-American women are more likely to get breast cancer at a young age, meaning less than age 45 than white women.  We also know that once a black woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she's more likely to die of that breast cancer than a white woman," says oncologist Jane Churpek.

Doctors say women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer should be offered genetic counseling and may want to consider more frequent screening and prevention options.

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