The two genes known to carry breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, may be linked to the gene that causes ovarian cancer. Researchers have found that in one in every 20 cases of ovarian cancer, BRCA2 — the breast cancer gene discovered last year — was present. This finding further strengthens the evidence that ovarian cancer is hereditary.
Ovarian Cancer will strike an estimated 26,700 women a year and 14,800 will die. Only 23 percent of cases are diagnosed early, but the survival rate for treating it early is 91 percent. The new findings provide hope that genetic screening will help women who have a hereditary predisposition to ovarian cancer. Evidence is still inconclusive as to why some family members with the mutated gene develop ovarian cancer but others do not.
News: April 15, 1996