Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Gene Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Study Shows Genetic Variation Linked to Less Dense Breast Tissue
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Jan. 31, 2011 -- A new genetic link may help identify women with less dense breast tissue who are at lower risk of developing breast cancer, according to researchers.

A new study shows women with a specific variation of the gene ZNF365 were more likely to have lower mammographic density or a low proportion of dense tissue vs. fat tissue in the breast, which has been linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer.

"Women with more than 75% dense tissue in the breast are at a fourfold to fivefold greater risk of breast cancer than women of the same age and body mass index (BMI) with little or no dense tissue," writes researcher Sara Lindström of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues in Nature Genetics.

Lower Breast Density

In the study, researchers analyzed genetic information from five previous studies with a total of 4,877 women. All of the studies included data on breast density measured by mammography screening and the women's genetic profile.

The results showed women with the gene variation named “rs10995190 A” were more likely to have lower breast density, even after adjusting for age and BMI. The researchers also replicated the genetic association in two additional groups made up of 2,835 women.

Researchers say this specific gene variation has already been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in a recent study, and these results suggest that its role in affecting breast density may help explain this link. But further research is needed to confirm this association.

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow