A new U.S. study says women with hereditary cancers are developing them almost eight years earlier than their mothers and grandmothers.

The report in the journal Cancer said women are at a greater risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer if they carry the BRCA gene.

Clinicians like me have observed for years that it seemed to us that the age of diagnosis of breast cancer was moving down in successive generations in family where there was a great deal of breast cancer, particularly in families where the cancers occurred as a result of the BRCA genetic mutations, Dr. Freya Schnabel, director of breast surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, told bronx.ny1.com.

My aunt had cancer, breast cancer, when she was in her early 50s. Her daughter had cancer when she was in her 30s and I received it when I was 40, says Kelly McSpirit, who was detected with breast cancer and treated.

Will the ages of women getting breast cancer keep getting younger with every new generation? Probably not, says Schnabel. Considering the way the breast matures, it is unlikely that breast cancer could develop in girls under 20.

The reason for the younger generation getting breast cancer earlier is not clear yet. It could be established with a deeper study. The reason why older generation had got it in the later stage of their life could have got something to do with the difference in the life style of both the generations. Also, it's possible that in the older generation, the diagnosis took place pretty late, probably in the last stages.

The eight-year gap is a significant finding and that gives enough reasons to conduct screenings at least 10 years prior to the age of diagnosis of the previous generation.