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Scientists are saying they now have a near-perfect picture of what exactly causes breast cancer. The new study, published in the international journal Nature, is being celebrated as a "milestone" moment that could help uncover new ways of preventing and treating the disease.
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The team looked at 560 breast cancers and discovered a total of 93 sets of genes that could potentially cause tumors if they are mutated. Experts are expecting this to be a definitive list, except in rare cases. So 93 mutated genes could possibly convert a normal cell to a cancer cell.
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Some mutations are caused by family risk. Others seem to stem from the body attacking viruses by mutating their genetic code. But others still remain unexplained.
Nevertheless, the list of potentially mutated genes is incredibly important information for universities, the pharmaceuticals, and the biotech companies to have, because it will allow them to start developing new drugs for those mutated genes.
And that means we are a step closer to personalized health care for breast cancer.
PLUS: See celebrities who are cancer survivors below.
Edie Falco: Breast cancer, 2004 Falco kept her treatment a secret from her Sopranos co-stars. “Surviving cancer has a way of making you re-prioritize," she's said. In her case, it meant starting a family.
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