Genetics of Breast and Colorectal Cancer

Published by Luke Morais on

Genetics of Breast and Colorectal Cancer
What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease that happens when cells in the body grow and divide without control. Normally, cells grow and divide to help the body in different ways. But sometimes, cells can become damaged and start to grow out of control. This can create a lump or growth called a tumor. Not all tumors are cancerous, but the ones that are, can spread to other parts of the body and damage healthy tissues and organs. Cancer can happen in different parts of the body, and there are many types of cancer. African Americans are more likely to get certain types of cancer than other people. Breast and colorectal cancers are two of the most common types. Sadly, African Americans are more likely to die from these cancers than other people.


How was the Research done?

Researchers will study the genes of African-Americans who have had breast or colorectal cancer to find new genetic traits that may cause these cancers. Due to the increased death rates of these cancers in this population, researchers will then compare the results with information from people that mostly European and Asian ancestors. Researchers are wanting to identify any differences in the gene makeup of these populations, to explain the differences in the occurrences and death rates. 

Researchers will combine the GWAS data with other types of information about genes to study how genes affect the risk of getting breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Specifically, they will look at how genes predict things like the types of molecules in the body and chemical changes to DNA. This will help us understand more about how genes can impact cancer risk.


Who will benefit?

Both types of cancer can be very dangerous and can cause serious health problems. Researchers are looking at the genes of people who have had breast or colorectal cancer, as well as the genes of people who have not had these types of cancer. They want to see if there are differences in the genes between these two groups. Understanding which genes are linked to these cancers can help doctors develop better ways to prevent and treat them. It can also help people with African ancestry make informed decisions about their health and take steps to reduce their risk of getting these types of cancers.