What's new in breast cancer research?

Causes of breast cancer

Studies continue to find lifestyle factors and habits that alter breast cancer risk. Some studies are looking at the effect of exercise, weight gain or loss, and diet on breast cancer risk. We are also learning more about how genes influence breast cancer. This should happen more quickly now that the human genome has been mapped out.

A large, long-term study is now going on to help find the causes of breast cancer. It is known as the Sister Study and it will follow 50,000 women whose sisters (not they themselves) have had breast cancer. Over 10 years, information will be gathered on many factors that might cause breast cancer. An offshoot of the Sister Study, the Two Sister Study, is designed to look at possible causes of early onset breast cancer. If you want to find out more about these studies visit the Web site at sisterstudy.org.

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