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Dad's genes are important in breast cancer detection

Those who are asked if they have a history of breast cancer in their family often think of their mothers or maternal grandmothers. However, women should remember to give information about their father's side as well.

According to WebMD, medical professionals are missing opportunities to offer women genetic testing or other important procedures by not uncovering enough information about their father's history.

"Many remain unaware that these women might have inherited the mutated gene from their father ... and might not routinely collect this information from their patients," Jeanna McCuaig, a researcher at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, wrote in a study published in the online edition of The Lancet Oncology.

The research also found that women with a maternal history of breast cancer were five times as likely to be sent to additional specialists than those who had instances of the disease on their father's side of the family.

"[This] could result in missed opportunities for genetic testing and cancer prevention in individuals with a paternal family history," McCuaig said.

According to, the two main breast cancer genes - BRCA1 and BRCA2 - account for around 10 percent of all patients diagnosed with the disease.
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