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ILLINOIS

Breast cancer genes can come from Dad

CHICAGO — A deadly gene’s path can hide in a family tree when a woman has few aunts and older sisters, making it appear that her breast cancer struck out of nowhere when it really came from Dad.

A study suggests that thousands of young women with breast cancer — an estimated 8,000 a year in the U.S. — aren’t offered testing to identify faulty genes and clarify their medical decisions.

Guidelines used by insurance companies to decide coverage for genetic testing should change to reflect the findings, said study co-author Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel of City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif. Testing can cost more than $3,000.

“Interestingly, it’s about Dad,” Dr. Weitzel said. Half of genetic breast cancers are inherited from a woman’s father, not her mother. But unless Dad has female relatives with breast cancer, the faulty gene may have been passed down silently, without causing cancer. Men can get genetic breast cancer, too, but it’s not common.

The study, appearing in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at the genetic test results from 306 women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50.

LOUISIANA

Teenager shoots would-be carjacker

METAIRIE — A 17-year-old boy foiled an attempted carjacking, wrestling a gun from a would-be robber and shooting him after the man grabbed his mother, authorities said.

Carl Chestnut, wounded in the head and torso, will face armed robbery charges once he is released from East Jefferson General Hospital, Col. John Fortunato, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said Monday.

The 53-year-old woman, whose name wasn’t released, and her son were in the drive-through line at an Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant early Monday when Mr. Chestnut, 44, walked up and pointed a gun at her, demanding their money and the car, Col. Fortunato said.

When he leaned inside, trying to yank the mother out of the car, the 17-year-old grabbed the gun, Col. Fortunato said. He said it went off once as they struggled, but did not hit anyone. Once the youth seized the gun, he shot Mr. Chestnut several times, Col. Fortunato said.

NORTH CAROLINA

Judge suspends district attorney

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