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Faulty gene has no impact on breast cancer survival say scientists

Scientists carried out the study at Southampton University Credit: PA

Young women with breast cancer have the same survival rates regardless of whether they have faulty BRCA genes, researchers have said.

While the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations put women at an increased risk of developing breast cancer, a study at Southampton University has found that those with the faulty gene are not less likely to survive.

Scientists believe the results could help women and doctors make more informed decisions about their treatment in the future.

Sally Simmonds explains went to meet one woman who's decided to have a double mastectomy following support form Cancer Research UK.

The study involved 2,733 British women from 127 hospitals, who had been diagnosed with the condition at the age of 40 or below.

The patients, 12% of whom were found to have faulty genes, were followed up for an average of just over eight years.

Josephine has made the decision to have a double mastectomy Credit: ITV Meridian

"Although BRCA faults increase the risk of young women developing cancer, their outlook once diagnosed is no worse than that for young women with breast cancer who don't carry the BRCA gene faults."

– Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK's head information nurse

The researchers say that these findings could give women "more confidence and control" when making decisions about their treatment.