In the Western world, approximately one out of ten women will develop breast cancer at some point in life. In most cases the disease is sporadic, i.e. it is not hereditary and is caused by mutations that have accumulated during the woman’s lifetime. Early detection is essential to successful treatment of tumours. Sporadic breast cancer is usually detected by the woman herself as a lump in the breast, or at a mammography examination.
In contrast to familial breast cancer, where a few genes can be analysed and related to disease development, there is presently no reliable method to predict which women are at higher risk for developing sporadic breast cancer later in life. New findings from an international research group, led by Professor Jan Dumanski, Faculty at SciLifeLab, show that genetic alterations in apparently healthy breast cells can be associated with an increased risk for sporadic breast cancer.