GPs could be routinely testing patients for genetic risk of cancer within five years following a landmark study by Cambridge scientists.
The biggest investigation of its kind ever carried out has greatly multiplied the number of known genetic markers linked to breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
In future, the results may make it possible to single out individuals with a potentially lethal hand of genetic cards using a simple saliva test.
They can then be monitored closely for the first signs of developing cancer, or - in the most high risk cases - be offered preventative treatment.
Experts believe the cheap and easy tests could be conducted in family doctors' surgeries.
Samples would initially be sent off to laboratory specialists, but eventually GPs could be doing the analysis themselves.
More top news
There will be a few wintry showers tonight but tomorrow will see some sunny spells.
A man from Northamptonshire has begun an epic journey, to walk 5500 miles from his home town of Kettering to Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.
There's a big change in the race for promotion from the Championship, as Norwich take the advantage after winning the East Anglia Derby.