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Map of chromosome 17 showing a breast cancer gene

Map of chromosome 17 showing a breast cancer gene

M352/0036

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Credit

WEDGWORTH, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WEDGWORTH, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Breast cancer gene. Map of chromosome 17 showing the position of BRCA-1, a gene that has been linked to the development of breast cancer. Women have two copies of BRCA-1, which is believed to aid in cancer suppression. However if one of these genes is defective, there is no back-up if the second gene is damaged by exposure to environmental carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals). Therefore inheriting a defective BRCA-1 gene results in a small increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.

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