According to a study, SCIENTISTS have found four more genes that increase the risk of breast cancer.
They say screening could identify more women at risk by checking for more warning signs in DNA.
Current genetic testing focuses heavily on the BRCA “Jolie” genes, named after “Tomb Raider” actress Angelina because she carries one.
A team including researchers from the University of Cambridge said they found at least four other high-risk genes when they scanned the DNA of 243,000 women.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, affecting 56,000 women each year.
Professor Jacques Simard of Laval University in Quebec, Canada, said: “Although most of the variants identified in these new genes are rare, the risks for women who carry them can be significant.
“For example, changes in one of the new genes, MAP3K1, appear to cause a particularly high risk of breast cancer.”
According to Cancer Research UK, only 23 percent of breast cancer cases can be prevented. Staying slim, drinking less alcohol, not smoking and breastfeeding are known to reduce the risk.
Some women’s genetic makeup makes them more likely to develop the disease.
The new study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, compared the DNA of 26,000 women with breast cancer and 217,000 women without breast cancer.
It turned out that gene mutations called MAP3K1, LZTR1, ATR and BARD1 were found more frequently in women with cancer.
Although there is no cure for them, women who carry them could be tested more frequently to detect tumors early, or be offered preventive surgery or advice to reduce their risk in other ways.
dr Kotryna Temcinaite of the Breast Cancer Now charity said: “It is thought that only about five to ten percent of women with breast cancer are carriers of an inherited altered gene.”
“This exciting research has taken the first steps towards identifying additional rare, altered genes that could increase a woman’s risk of developing this disease.
“This could help better determine who is more likely to develop breast cancer and open the door to finding new ways to treat and support those people.”