Navigation Links
BRCA1 Mutation Prevalent Among Hispanic, Younger Black Women

New ethnic findings point out that all women with early breast cancer should be tested for the mutation, experts say

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The gene mutation BRCA1, which is known to increase the risk of breast cancer, is prevalent among Hispanics and young black women with breast cancer, researchers report.

The mutation is known to heighten the risk for Ashkenazi Jews, so the new ethnic findings are something of a surprise, the California researchers noted.

"We found that the Hispanic women had a higher prevalence of the harmful BRCA1 mutation than white women, and the highest prevalence was among young African-American women," said study author Esther John, a research scientist at the Northern California Cancer Center in Fremont and a consulting associate professor of health research and policy at Stanford University. "The prevalence of the BRCA1 mutation is different in different racial and ethnic groups."

In the study, which appears in the Dec. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, John's team looked for the prevalence of the BRCA1 mutation among 3,181 women with breast cancer.

The researchers found that Ashkenazi women with breast cancer had the highest rate of the BRCA1 mutation, at 8.3 percent. For Hispanic women with breast cancer, the rate was 3.5 percent. Among non-Hispanic whites, the rate was 2.2 percent, and among Asian women it was 0.5 percent.

For all black women, the rate of the mutation was 1.3 percent, but for those under 35 who had breast cancer, the rate was 16.7 percent, John's group found.

Among the surprises in the study was that Hispanic women were more likely to have a particular mutation that is also common in Ashkenazi Jews, John said. Spanish ancestry may account for this, John noted. The researchers speculate that Sephardic Jews, who settled in Spain, could have shared the mutation with Ashkenazi Jews, who settled in central and Eastern Europe.

The prevalence of the BRCA1 mutation in young black women with breast cancer was also unexpected, since the overall rate of the mutation is low among black women of all ages, John said.

However, this finding could explain why when young black women get breast cancer it tends to be an aggressive form of the disease, which is consistent with cancers that involve BRCA1 mutations.

John noted that, because BRCA1 mutations are rare, not all women need to be tested for mutations. However, women who have a family history of breast cancer or who are diagnosed with breast cancer when they are under 35 might want to be tested, she said. "Women in all ethnic/racial populations would benefit from testing," she added.

One expert believes the findings in the study mirror what she has been seeing in a diverse urban population of women with breast cancer.

"This study supports what I've been finding in my clinical practice," said Dr. Christine Pellegrino, a breast cancer specialist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Pellegrino believes in genetic screening for all women who develop breast cancer early. "There should be a vigorous, well-defined, screening procedure for the female relatives of these women," she said. "There should be widespread use of genetic counseling in these young patients."

Young women who have the BRCA1 mutation and have had breast cancer are at risk for a recurrence of their cancer and also of developing ovarian cancer, Pellegrino said. "These women need to be closely monitored," she added.

Another expert agrees that most younger women with breast cancer have a genetic mutation, regardless of their ethnic or racial background.

"Whatever your ethnicity or your race, if you have a high-risk profile -- that is, early breast cancer -- it predicts the likelihood of genetic mutations across all ethnicities and races," said Dr. Jeffrey N. Weitzel, director of the department of clinical cancer genetics at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Duarte, Calif.

However, Weitzel noted that this latest study does not take BRCA2 mutations into account, which also increase the risk for breast cancer.

"So some of these numbers are underestimates," he said. "BRCA2 usually accounts for about a third more cases in each group," he said.

More information

For more information on breast cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Esther John, Ph.D., research scientist, Northern California Cancer Center, Fremont, and associate professor, health research and policy, Stanford University; Christine Pellegrino, M.D., breast cancer specialist, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Jeffrey N. Weitzel, M.D., director, department of clinical cancer genetics, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif.; Dec. 26, 2007, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Gene Mutations May Cause Rare Neonatal Diabetes
2. Gene Mutation Linked to Parkinsons Disease
3. Research shows how genetic mutation causes epilepsy in infants
4. Gene Mutation Key to Infertility in Male Mice
5. Overlooked Mutation Can Spur HIV Drug Resistance
6. OHSU Cancer Institute researcher discovers what fuels certain cancer mutation
7. Breast cancer gene mutation more common in Hispanic, young black women, Stanford/NCCC study finds
8. Expanding Prevalent Population Will Drive Dramatic Growth for the Asthma Drug Market in China
9. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk among Chinese men
10. Survey reveals disparities in skin cancer knowledge, protection among high school students
11. Donate Life America Dispels Myths About Organ & Tissue Donation Among Hispanics During National Hispanic Heritage Month
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
BRCA1 Mutation Prevalent Among Hispanic, Younger Black Women
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not ... comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room ... Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. ... of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law ... magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are ... , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its first-ever “Issue ... conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding work of ... and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we recognize the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has ... of the current process. Many of them do not even ... technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ... it at such a high cost that the majority of ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report ... The report contains up to date financial data derived from ... of major trends with potential impact on the market during ... market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and country ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- , , , WHEN: , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free ... EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President ... Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: