Basal cell carcinomas are the most common skin cancers. Two new genes have been found and if you are of European descent and have either of these genes, (that are not typically associated with fair skin or pigmentation of your skin) but they do put you at significantly higher risk for basal cell carcinoma.
Most cases of this type of cancer implicate the sun's UV rays and exposure as the primary risk factor. Most cases, especially when found early are easy to treat however, in rare instances the cancer can be resisitant and allow for skin damage and even invasion to bone and cartilage.
The study that looked at 30,000 Icelandic individuals noted that having these new gene variations put you at a risk that was 12 times higher (than someone without the gene variants) and this heightened risk did not factor in sun exposure. As science discovers more genes and gene variants associated with heightened risk for disease, the future of genetic testing may become vital in the war against disease.
Published On: October 14, 2008