Researchers need 60,000 women to take part in a new study to try to identify what factors increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
All of the women who attend an NHS breast screening programme in Greater Manchester over the next three years will be asked if they want to get involved in what will be the world's largest study to predict breast cancer risk.
Those that do will fill in questionnaires about their family medical history and lifestyles. One in six will also be asked to give a saliva DNA sample to provide information on genetic variations that are known to increase the risk of the disease.
It is hoped that the results will lead to more regular scanning of women who are deemed to be at risk.
Lead researcher Professor Gareth Evans said: "Women will be recruited by invitation only. Once we have the information we require, our researchers, through computer programming, will be able to calculate a woman's risk. All will be given the option of knowing their outcome and if it's high, advice and guidance will be offered."
The study, to be conducted by researchers from the Nightingale Centre and Genesis Prevention Centre, is being funded by a £1.59 million grant from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The DNA sample collection kits will be provided by the Genesis Appeal, a charity dedicated to breast cancer prevention.
Copyright © Press Association 2009
<http://www.genesisuk.org/> (The Genesis Appeal)