Table 1

Proportion of subjects in each of six groups whose diffraction patterns show or do not show the diffuse ring

Pubic hairHead hair
NU−U+A−A+AnhNU−U+A−A+Anh
Ring1-150 (%)5  (19)6  (26)6 (67)5  (24)6  (24)1  (33)15  (56)15  (65)7  (70)10  (48)7  (28)1  (33)
No ring (%)22 (81)17 (74)3 (33)16 (76)19 (76)2 (67)12 (44)8 (35)3 (30)11 (52)18 (72)2 (67)
Total = 217272391-151 2125327231021253
  • N = control from normal population. U = unaffected (known not to have breast cancer). A = affected (known to have breast cancer). +/− = tested positive/negative for mutations inBRCA1 and BRCA2genes. nh = no family history.

  • 1-150 Includes complete and partial ring. James et al 4 suggest that pubic hair should be used for diagnostic purposes; 50% of all head hair samples show the ring in contrast to only 27% of pubic hair samples. This difference may arise from hair treatment among other factors.

  • 1-151 One woman supplied only head hair.