By comparing breast cancer tissue with healthy breast tissue, Cleveland Clinic researchers found there was an imbalance of bacteria.
By comparing the genes of those diagnosed with the condition with those who had no history of breast cancer, the researchers were able to identify 65 variations of genes that contributed to the disease's development. She hopes that discoveries made in this research will someday lead to better and less harsh treatments for breast cancer, for instance, treating people with a targeted probiotic instead of chemotherapy.
In contrast to mutations affecting the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are pretty rare - only one woman in 400 is a carrier - but that increase tenfold (1000 % increase) the risk of developing breast cancer, these 72 genetic variations, which are in addition to 108 other already known, are fairly common in the population. "Women are very strong". These new genetic variations, we will probably answer, " stresses Dr. Jocelyne Chiquette, clinician at the Centre for breast diseases at Quebec, which is one of the authors of the study.
About 70 per cent of breast cancer responds to the oestrogen hormone, which helps the tumour to grow.
U.S. co-author Professor Peter Kraft, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said the findings revealed a wealth of new information about the genetic mechanisms underlying the disease.
Professor John Bridgewater, an oncologist at University College London Hospital, who was not involved in the study, said: 'Many patients will often go on special diets, rather than having conventional treatment.
I would advise readers to limit alcohol consumption to one drink per week, indulge in regular physical activities and exercise and control weight.
"If you could stop that (cancer) from ever happening to you that would change my quality of life and it would have meant I could have had a second child. If a test is developed and a woman finds out she is at high risk, what steps are in place for her to take action in reducing that risk?" she told The New Daily. Combining the genetic factors with hormonal and lifestyle influences was likely to increase the risk further, they said.
"Some of the variations are protective, others increase the risk".
The newly identified risk regions almost double the number that are already known, thereby bringing the number of known common variants associated with breast cancer to around 180.