Breast Cancer Can Come From Dad, Too

Stealth gene at fault in half of inherited cases; better screening urged

By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 20, 2007 4:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Half of congenital breast cancer victims inherit the disease from their fathers, not their mothers, according to a new study. And unless dad has female relatives with the affliction, the responsible gene may go undiscovered. The study in JAMA warns doctors, increasingly screening family trees for cancer, not to overlook the paternal genetic danger of the devastating disease.

Researchers say the findings also mean that more young women without ostensible histories should undergo expensive genetic tests to screen their genomes for risk. A geneticist said the study allows women whose moms were cancer free to tell insurers that it's "still reasonable to test and it should be a covered benefit."

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