CANCER GENES REVISITED

SCIENTISTS THOUGHT THEY HAD FOUND A SUREFIRE WAY TO ASSESS BREAST-CANCER RISKS; NOW THEY'RE NOT SO SURE

Cancer researchers aren't accustomed to breakthroughs, but three years ago, they thought they had scored a big one. That's when scientists revealed they had found and begun mapping the first of two genes that appeared to be behind most cases of inherited breast cancer. Suddenly it seemed possible that a woman's odds of getting the disease might be determined by simply scanning her genetic schematic. Thousands of women in the U.S. with a family history of breast cancer rushed to take blood tests designed to look for the rogue genes. Of those who tested positive, as many as 20% underwent prophylactic...

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