We often hear that a baby’s height is determined by his/her dad’s height whereas, the baby’s weight is determined by the mom. Scientists now have identified a new gene mutation that raises the risk of ovarian cancer and is passed from father to daughter. This also explains the reason why many daughters in the same family are affected by ovarian cancer. It’s because, a father’s chromosome determines the sex of the child and all his daughters carry the same X chromosome genes resulting in such effects.
Gene Determines Cancer Risk
By now, we are well aware that BRCA gene mutations increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and how the famous Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie had her breast and ovaries removed as she carried the faulty gene BRCA1 that killed her mother too (ovarian cancer). It's even called as the 'Angelina Jolie' gene and for further information on this gene, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com. The same gene, if carried by a man is sure to be passed over to his daughter as he has only one X chromosome. When a research group in USA analyzed cancer rates among women whose paternal grandmothers had ovarian cancer, their studies indicated the possibility of an ovarian cancer risk gene on the X chromosome-a mutation on a gene called MAGEC3.
The research team probed into the repeated occurrence of ovarian cancer in paternal grandmother-granddaughter pairs where the risk could have been passed by the son/father.
It is a well-known fact that family history plays the pivotal role in determining risk of ovarian cancer. When a grandmother is a carrier of the gene, she has 50% chance of passing the gene to her son, who again has a 50% chance of passing the gene to his daughter. This leads to a 25% grandmother-granddaughter transmission risk. But, if this gene was located on the grandmother’s X chromosome, there is 50% chance that she passes it to her son who has 100% chance of passing it to his daughter as he has only one X chromosome. In this scenario, the grandmother-granddaughter transmission risk is 50%. When the research team analyzed grandmother-granddaughter pairs, they found that the cancer rates among granddaughters who had only one grandmother with ovarian cancer was 28% if it was paternal grandmother and 14% if it was maternal grandmother. Also, ovarian cancer developed at an early age if it was paternal grandmother who was affected and the son/father was likelier to suffer from prostate cancer if his mother had ovarian cancer.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.