An Australian study has found that a commonly-found gene mutation increases the risk of bowel cancer.
Researchers from the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research said this mutation was previously considered harmless, but has now been linked to the development of non-polyposis colorectal cancer, a hereditary disorder which is linked to bowel cancer.
"What we discovered is that people who carry two copies of the gene mutation known as H63D, and who also have the gene mutations linked to bowel cancer, are three times more likely to develop bowel cancer," said lead researcher John Olynyk.
The researchers arrived at this conclusion after assessing 350 Australian and Polish people who had the gene mutation.
The details of the study appear in the International Journal of Cancer.