BRCA1 and 2 (BRest CAncer) are gene mutations that make women more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer. Experts have proven that women who have the BRCA1 gene are 87% more likely to suffer from breast cancer.
In 2013, actress Angelina Jolie learned about her faulty BRCA1 gene and quickly had a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer from developing. After tests proving her ovaries may become cancerous, she had had them removed in 2015. Both her grandmother and her mother died from ovarian cancer. Her aunt died from breast cancer three months after Jolie’s breast removal surgery.
But for women who have the BRCA1 gene and have not removed their breasts, there is good news because they may not have to invest in the painful and expensive surgery. A group of Australian researchers has found that a drug which treats osteoporosis, denosomab, also prevents breast cancer tissue from developing in women. Researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne are putting denosumab in test tubes with precancerous breast tissue and it has been showing promising results. The medicine has stopped the tumors from forming.
Since the drug has already been tested in humans, the release for it will be much shorter compared to other drugs that must still undergo clinical trials. If the clinical trials continue to be successful, this drug may prevent women from needing to remove their breasts.
For more information about the research being performed, click here.