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

mies and one in eight chose ovary removal. Among women who tested negative, 58.5 percent chose lumpectomies, only 20.7 percent chose double mastectomy and none elected to have their ovaries removed.

Stress and timing

Many women who meet the guidelines do not have a preoperative genetic test, even though it can provide important information. The effect of a positive BRCA mutation test on surgical decision-making had not been studied before and doctors have debated what the best timing should be. Some have argued that testing would add too much stress at a time when women are already coping with learning of their serious diagnosis. Indeed, Lokich acknowledged, some women choose not to be tested.

But Lokich said other studies suggest that genetic testing doesn't add much stress overall.

Instead, the likely reason most women in the study who tested positive for BRCA mutation often changed their surgery plan from lumpectomy to double mastectomy was to prevent a second bout of breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

In the study Lokich and her colleagues found that genetic testing significantly delayed getting to surgery, but not by enough to postpone it past the 90 days post-diagnosis that studies have shown to be clinically significant.

The authors therefore concluded, "We recommend that women meeting NCCN referral guidelines have their genetic evaluation done prior to surgical intervention."


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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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