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Family History Does Not Influence Cancer Recovery, New Study Finds

Cancer patients have been recently reassured by medical experts that family history does not influence cancer recovery, new study finds. The reassurance comes after doctors have compared cancer reoccurrence rates in female patients with and without family history.

Female patients diagnosed with breast cancer are constantly encouraged by doctors to use all possible treatments to fight against the disease or to recover from the medical intervention. Recent scientific findings come to strengthen this believe even though it was long believed that patients with family history have weaker chances of recovery.

Professors at the University of Southampton in Britain are well-aware that family heredity plays a crucial role for cancer patients as there are increased chances for the disease to reappear after the medical intervention. They were, nevertheless interested in determining whether family history also influences the effectiveness of the cancer treatment or not.

For that matter, the team of researchers have gathered a group of 2,850 female patients aged below 40, who have been previously diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. The participants were divided into two categories, depending on the history of their families. Thus, female patients, whose first-degree relatives also suffered from cancer were included in one category, whereas those without family antecedents formed the second category.

The medical history of each and every participant was then, followed for the past 15 years. Medical scientists wanted to keep a track of the personal characteristics of the female patients, their tumor characteristics and the recovery treatments they have followed. This information was coupled with data related to the periods in which the patients did not suffer from the disease and to their family history.

The analysis has revealed that there is no real connection between cancer recovery and family history. Inherited genes might say whether a patient is likely to suffer from a form of cancer or not, but it does not have a direct influence on the effectiveness of the treatment.

Ramsey Cutress, associate professor in breast surgery at the University of Southampton further stated that female patients should not worry that their results will be worse. On the contrary, the study has shown that many women participants have had very good results during the medical treatment, in spite of their family history.

New experiments and tests are carried out each day to find possible cures for cancer. Physicians have now managed to determine which genes are more vulnerable to chemotherapy and which require a different type of treatment.

The recent discoveries of the study performed by the team of researchers at the University of Southampton in Britain will be published in the British Journal of Surgery.
Image Source: Breast Cancer Campaign

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