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BRCA test results affect patients' breast cancer surgery plans
Date:6/13/2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Women diagnosed with breast cancer often face a crucial decision about the extent of their surgical treatment. Many meet national guidelines recommending testing for mutations in the BRCA 1 and 2 genes, which carry a substantial risk of future cancer. A new study reports that among women with breast cancer who undergo recommended testing before surgery, more than 7 in 10 who test positive will change their surgical plan, typically opting for a more extensive procedure such as a double mastectomy and sometimes ovary removal.

"As soon as somebody hears they have a 65 percent chance of a new breast cancer in the future or an up to 60 percent chance of ovarian cancer, they are likely to do whatever they can to prevent that," said lead author Dr. Elizabeth Lokich, an obstetrics and gynecology fellow in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and at Women & Infants Hospital.

The study appears online in the journal Gynecological Oncology with the recommendation that women who meet National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for genetic testing get the test before deciding on their surgery.

"Particularly because of what we found that it changes their surgical planning it really makes the most sense to have this evaluation done pre-operatively," Lokich said.

The study was based on a retrospective review of the records of 302 Women & Infants breast cancer patients who had undergone preoperative genetic testing between 2006 and 2012 because they met the NCCN guidelines. Within that group, 32 learned that they carried a mutation in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. With that information, 71.9 percent, or 23, of the women who tested positive changed their surgical plan compared to only 28.9 percent of women who tested negative.

Among the mutation carriers, 31.3 percent chose lumpectomies, while 59.4 percent chose double mastecto
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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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