Wet ear wax may signal breast cancer risk

TOKYO, June 2 (UPI) -- A gene may link wet, sticky earwax and osmidrosis -- malodorous armpits -- to breast cancer risk, Japanese researchers say.

The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, suggests the same gene involved in osmidrosis and earwax may be linked to breast cancer.


"We do strongly hope that our study will provide a new tool for better predication of breast cancer risk by genotyping," senior researcher Dr. Toshihisa Ishikawa of the Tokyo Institute of Technology says in a statement.

"Using a rapid and cost-effective typing method presented in this study would provide a practical tool for pharmacogenomics-based personalized medicine."

Ishikawa and colleagues studied the cellular and molecular interactions in the body surrounding a gene associated with breast cancer -- called ABCC11 -- when they discovered the link between the gene and wet-type earwax and excessive armpit odor.

"Wet, sticky earwax might not be easily noticed, but most people can't miss unpleasant body odors," Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor in chief of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.

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