New research has indicated that women who carry a faulty gene could be at significantly higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, in what has been hailed as a landmark breakthrough in the fight against the disease.
According to a study conducted by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and published in Nature Genetics over the weekend, individuals with a defective variant of the RAD51D gene may be up to 11 times more likely to suffer from the illness.
"It's incredibly exciting to discover this high risk gene for ovarian cancer," said Cancer Research UK chief scientist Professor Nic Jones. "We believe the results of this research will help inform personalised treatment approaches and give doctors better information."
ICR scientist and report author Professor Nahzeen Rahman advised women with the faulty gene to consider removing their ovaries after having children in order to prevent ovarian cancer occurring.
Last week, experts at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York claimed living into old age is largely determined by medical factors, after surveying 477 elderly Ashkenazi Jews and examining their lifestyle factors.