Breast Cancer Risk Seen for Latinos, Blacks

Scientists find higher prevalance of mutated gene in new study
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2007 6:40 PM CST

(Newser) – A genetic mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer has been linked to Hispanic and young black women, according to a new study. The findings could lead to changes in screening, the San Jose Mercury News reports. In the survey of 3,181 women with breast cancer, 16.7% of black patients under 35 and 3.5% of Hispanic patients had the mutated gene, compared with 2.2% of white patients.

The mutation was previously known to be prevalent among Ashkenazi Jewish women. A woman who carries the defective BRCA1 gene has a 65% risk of developing breast cancer and a 39% risk of ovarian cancer. The study, by Stanford's medical school, is in the Journal of the American Medical Association.