Scientists say they will soon be able to take a simple mouth swab from women to better determine their risk of breast cancer, the Guardian reports. Researchers at Cambridge University have zeroed in on several genetic variants—with more to come—that offer a far more precise measure of a woman's risk than current tests. The development could have a profound impact on current screening procedures and the timeline for mammographies.
"We are a few years away from a new and powerful range of genetic tests for breast cancer," said the researcher who led the study. "Genetic testing has the potential to identify women (under 50) at increased risk who would benefit from mammography at an early age and also to identify women (over 50) with a low risk of breast cancer who may not need such regular checks."