Scientists have discovered a link between a newly identified gene called PALB2 and breast cancer.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel, the faulty gene is one of the two most dangerous in terms of relationship with the disease, right behind BRCA genes which have been long known to greatly increase the risk for breast cancer.
Weitzel, who works from the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, California, helped lead a study on 362 women.
Those with the PALB2 gene had a 14 percent chance of contracting breast cancer by age 50 and up to at least 35 percent by age 70.
"This one is serious," Weitzel said.
The risk went up even higher in those who have close relatives with breast cancer.