- Created on 05 June 2013
The University of Chicago has found that African-American women are at higher risk of developing breast cancer due to an inherited genetic mutation.
As a result of this discovery, doctors will be able to detect potential risks for the family members of cancer patients and possibly detect the disease early or prevent it altogether.
“Our study confirms the importance of screening for mutations in breast cancer susceptibility genes in all African-American breast cancer patients diagnosed by age 45, those with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or with triple-negative breast cancer before age 60,” said Jane Churpek, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine. “This could identify at-risk family members in time for life-saving interventions and help prevent future cancers for the patients as well.”
The study is the first to evaluate African-American women for all 18 known breast cancer susceptibility genes. It was demonstrated on June 3 at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.
During the presentation, researchers discovered that out of 249 women studied at the university’s cancer risk clinic, 56 of them had inherited at least one damaging mutation that gave them an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Individuals at a higher risk of obtaining inherited mutations include those who have close family members that have had either breast or ovarian cancer, people who have been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer and those who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45.
“We expected the women in our study to have a higher risk of carrying an inherited mutation that typical breast cancer patients,” Churpek said, “but some of their risk factors-diagnosis by age 45 or triple negative breast cancer also more common among African-American women.”
The longer a diagnosis is delayed, the more dangerous the disease can be. Once diagnosed with breast cancer, the survival rate is much lower for African-American women. It is suggested that insufficient access to screening and care can be a factor, however it is also claimed that differences in cell and tumor biology play a role.
“In every population, but especially among those with greater genetic diversity, we often detect changes in genes that may not yet have been studied clinically,” Churpek said. “Some people question the utility of using gene panels like BROCA, as we don’t always know how to counsel a patient without sufficient data on the clinical consequence of every variant found, but unless we start learning about them now we will never know.”
“What you don’t know can hurt you,” said Olufunmilayo Olopade, the Walter L. Palmer service professor of medicine and human genetics and director of the center for clinical cancer genetics at the University of Chicago. “Women with known BRCA1, BRCA2 or other inherited mutations can lower their risk of dying from breast or ovarian cancer.”
To reduce cancer risk, women have the option of removing healthy ovaries before the age of 40, surgically remove their breasts or take part in a breast-surveillance protocol, which monitors the patients with higher risk.
- Created on 04 June 2013
About 150 people have been arrested during the latest weekly demonstration led by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP against the state's Republican-led General Assembly.
Police estimated that roughly 1,000 people attended a rally late Monday afternoon behind the Legislative Building on Halifax Mall. Hundreds then entered the building. Upwards of 150 people were arrested outside the doors to the state Senate chambers, where demonstrators chanted, sang and delivered speeches decrying what they called a regressive agenda that neglects the poor.
Those arrested were taken away in plastic bindings. They bring the total arrested in the weekly demonstrations to about 300. The rallies have taken place nearly every Monday since April.
Hundreds more waited outside to cheer on those arrested as they were transported to a detention facility.
Groups ranging from abortion-rights supporters to environmentalists and public educators have joined the rallies, which have attracted people from Greensboro to Rocky Mount.
Protesters have been seeking to call attention to the rightward shift of the state legislature, which was dominated for decades by moderate Democrats.
- Created on 04 June 2013
Two officers from the Jasper Police Department in Texas have been fired after video captured them brutally handling a woman brought in to pay a $100 fine, Yahoo! News reports.
The incident took place May 5, when Keyarika “Shea” Diggles,...
- Created on 04 June 2013
A federal lawsuit against Cobb County Police Chief John Houser alleges he has engaged in racism against two Black lieutenants.
Lieutenants James Brown and Craig Owens claim the chief has repeatedly promoted White officers to captain ahead of them. They claim they are deserving of the job because of their experience and recommendations. Each have served more than 20 years with the department.
The lawsuit details several incidents when a white officer has been promoted before them. The police department has declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The allegations of racial bias aren't the first against Cobb Police Department. State Rep. Alisha Morgan, D-Austell, says she's received complaints form minority officers.
"I am concerned about the process for promotion, and sympathize with these officers and believe they are brave for bringing forth this lawsuit," Rep. Morgan told WSB.
Brown and Owens are asking for a permanent injunction to prevent this prejudice from being practiced in the department again. The two are also asking that the judge promote them.
There is currently one black member of the Cobb police command staff, according to WSB-TV.
- Created on 04 June 2013
(CNN) -- A Mississippi man was indicted Monday for allegedly sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and two other officials, and trying to cast blame on another man.
The five-count indictment charges James Everett Dutschke, 41, with producing and using the deadly toxin as a weapon, using the mail to threaten Obama, Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Lee County Judge Sadie Holland. The indictment alleges Dutschke tried to implicate someone else for the crimes.
That other man, an Elvis impersonator named Paul Kevin Curtis, was arrested on April 17. He claimed he'd been framed, and the charges against him were dropped less than a week later.
Dutschke was then arrested April 27 and charged with producing the ricin. Curtis had said the two men knew each other and had a falling out.
An affidavit released earlier said investigators conducted searches of Dutschke's home and former place of business and found incriminating items including latex gloves and a dust mask. The mask tested positive for ricin.
According to court papers, each letter contained the same message, saying in part, "Maybe I have your attention now Even if that means someone must die. This must stop. To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance."
The letters all ended with the words "I am KC and I approve this message." That was a phrase commonly used by Paul Kevin Curtis in online postings.
The indictment claims Dutschke used such language in the messages "to make it appear that Paul Kevin Curtis was responsible" for the letters.
If convicted Dutschke could face up to life in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Oxford, Mississippi, on Thursday. CNN's message to Dutschke's lawyer was not immediately returned.