"These elevated mutation frequencies and risks for contralateral breast cancer associated with these mutations underscore the need for women diagnosed with a first breast cancer at a young age regardless of family history to consider genetic testing and to discuss it with their health care providers," Malone said. "If they are found to carry a mutation in either of the BRCA genes, they should consider strategies for treatment, prevention and heightened surveillance in relation to their increased risk of a subsequent breast cancer diagnosis."
This international, multicenter study, which was coordinated by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, analyzed data from 705 women with contralateral breast cancer and a comparison group of 1,398 women with unilateral breast cancer. All of the women had been first diagnosed before age 55.
Participants were gleaned from population-based cancer registries in western Washington, Los Angeles, San Diego, Iowa and Denmark. All study participants were tested for the presence of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. None of the participants had evidence of cancer spread beyond the lymph nodes upon diagnosis.
This is the first population-based study of these two important breast cancer susceptibility genes and their relation to contralateral breast cancer risk, Malone said. It is also the largest study to date of the association between BRCA mutations and contralateral breast cancer. This study provides the clearest picture yet of the preval
|Contact: Kristen Woodward|
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center