The world has long believed that menopause is a condition that takes its toll on women’s health.
The notion that a woman is a “cancer patient” is now widely held, but until recently, there was no way of knowing for sure.
Theories about the causes of cancer had always included genetic predisposition, but it was only when the advent of the genome-editing revolution in the 1990s that researchers were able to map the genetic code of cancerous cells and uncover a new way to analyse DNA, and thus diagnose it.
Now, with the help of new technologies, such as a novel technique for measuring DNA in living cells, scientists are able to make the same sort of precise determination in cancerous tissues.
The new techniques have also helped researchers to identify and test many of the rarest forms of cancer, such to the heart or pancreas.
The first evidence of a cancer-causing gene was found in a patient’s appendix in 2004, although it took more than a decade before the full picture was revealed.
The gene for lung cancer was first identified in 2007.
But scientists were only able to identify a single gene mutation, called the C9-TAC4 locus, that causes lung cancer in women, rather than all of them.
That led to the development of gene-markers to help identify and study specific cancers in women.
In the UK, women’s cancer incidence has increased by 2 per cent since 2009.
And in the US, the number of new cases of cervical cancer increased by 1 per cent between 2011 and 2015, the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) said.
There are now more women than men diagnosed with cervical cancer.
The number of women dying from breast cancer in the UK has increased to about one in six, compared with one in every nine men.
But in the same period, the incidence of breast cancer has dropped from almost one in 200 women to less than one in 10.
The NCI said it would like to see more women diagnosed with breast cancer, and the number that died from it, but there is no conclusive evidence that the rise in breast cancer is the result of women getting the right treatment, such a hormonal or radiotherapy.
Dr Helen Smith, the director of clinical genetics at the University of Edinburgh, said the growing body of evidence suggests that women with breast cancers are more likely to die from it.
“We know that it is more likely for women with the disease to have been exposed to breast cancer than men,” she said.
Dr Smith said the rise was more pronounced in the south-east Asian region, which includes India and Pakistan. “
There is an increasing understanding that women do have the disease, and that the breast cancer rate is much higher in women than in men.”
Dr Smith said the rise was more pronounced in the south-east Asian region, which includes India and Pakistan.
“It is the case in Asia that the incidence rates are higher in men than in women,” she added.
“But there are also reasons why the incidence rate is higher in males.”
The UK is the only country in the European Union that does not recognise gender as a protected characteristic, meaning that men cannot receive hormone treatment to treat their cancer.
Dr Smith says this makes it more difficult for women to be treated for their cancers.
“What we are doing is really pushing for the introduction of a hormone treatment policy that is backed up by evidence, that has been established in the laboratory, that is supported by clinical trials, that can be tested in clinical trials and is backed by the evidence base,” she explained.
“So we are working to make sure that this is seen as a benefit to all women and not just to women who are currently on hormone therapy.”