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Today's Top Medical Stories for Thursday, August 7, 2014

New information about a gene that could determine an increased risk of breast cancer. And how stress in a woman's pregnancy could influence births generations later.
Researchers say women who have mutations in the "PALB2"  gene have a 1 in 3 chance of developing breast cancer.
The gene is most associated with breast cancer, after the BRCA genes.
British scientists looked at several hundred women with the rare gene mutations.
They say if a woman carries the mutation- she should undergo additional breast cancer screening.

Canadian researchers say stress during pregnancy could affect pregnancies for several generations.
They studied generations of rats- and found those subjected to stress late in pregnancy- had daughters and granddaughters that had shorter pregnancies.
The study also found other signs of stress in rats born to stressed grandmothers or mothers- including a lower birth weight and higher glucose levels.

And US researchers have discovered that analyzing the  bacteria in a person's gut is a good indicator of who may have precancerous polyps as well as invasive colorectal cancer.
They say it's better than assessing risk factors and stool testing.
Scientists hope the technique could one day be used a screening tool.

(Craig Boswell, CBS News)

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