Researchers have discovered there may be a link between the changes in certain genes and the development of breast cancer, BusinessWeek
It was believed that these changes only occurred after breast cancer developed but this study has now given researchers another clue into how breast cancer develops and possible steps in combating the disease.
"What wasn't known is that different levels of expression of these genes can help launch the cellular changes that lead to breast cancer," Dr Priscilla A. Furth, lead investigator of the study, told the news provider.
Researchers also found that the changes in the expression of two genes altered the balance of cell growth and death in breast tissue. For breast tissue to function normally, it requires that balance.
These findings give researchers hope that there may be a possibility in performing these tests on women to determine their risk and to also implement early detection and prevention measures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer to affect American women behind skin cancer. Over 190,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.