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Survey shows young women at high risk know little about breast cancer

A new survey conducted by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that young women who are at high-risk for breast or ovarian cancer based on their families history know little about what to do to be prepared, USA Today reports.

According to the news outlet daughters of women who have BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have a 50 percent chance of having the mutation as well, which increases their risk of having breast cancer by 85 percent and ovarian cancer by 60 percent or higher.

"Young, [18 to 24-year-olds] high-risk women have little knowledge about the probabilities and options for managing the cancers for which their risks are remarkably increased," Andrea Farkas Patenaude, principal investigator told the news outlet. "Further, many report intense anxiety related to their potential cancer development," Farkas Patenaude told the news outlet.

When asked about their attitudes, health behaviors and life plans, many reported being very concerned about hereditary breast or ovarian cancer. 40 percent said they "worried a great deal or to an extreme about hereditary cancer."

More breast cancer news and awareness needs to be conducted in order to give young and older women the knowledge to help themselves and the power to overcome the fear that so many have, according to the study.
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