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MP's wife fights gene fault with breast op

21 June 2010

By Dr Vivienne Raper

Appeared in BioNews 563

The wife of Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham has had a double mastectomy after a genetic test showed she had a raised risk of breast cancer.

Marie-France van Heel, 40, was found to have the BRCA1 gene fault which, according to the Manchester Evening News, raises the risk of breast cancer by 55 to 85 per cent. Her sister Claire died three years ago from breast cancer at 39 and her elder sister and mother have been treated for the disease. The breast operation is a bid to prevent the cancer before it develops.

Andy Burnham is Shadow Health Secretary of the UK's Labour party. The couple have two children under 10.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
The Telegraph | 03 June 2010
 
The Sun | 04 June 2010
 
Manchester Evening News | 04 June 2010
 
Herald Scotland | 04 June 2010
 
Daily Mail | 03 June 2010
 

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