Navigation Links
Gene Mutations Up Risk for Cancer in Opposite Breast

Younger women with diagnosis should consider genetic testing, experts say

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 55 who also have a genetic mutation that boosts their risk for the disease are more likely to get cancer in the opposite breast than are women who don't have the genetic mutations, a new study has found.

Risk increased fourfold for these women, who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, said Dr. Kathleen Malone, the study's lead author, associate head of the breast cancer research program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington.

That was the major finding of the study, published online April 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Malone said. And though previous studies found the same link, she said, the new one focused not only on high-risk women with genetic risks for breast cancer but also on women in the general population.

"My point in writing this paper is to make sure women had this knowledge, to understand what the risk might be," she said.

Most other studies, she said, actually found a higher risk than she did, partly because they focused more intently on women with the mutations rather than on the general population.

For their study, Malone and her colleagues evaluated data from 705 women who had been diagnosed with both a first breast cancer and a subsequent cancer in the opposite breast. The researchers compared them with a group of 1,398 women with breast cancer in one breast only. All were from a group of 52,536 women diagnosed with a first breast cancer before age 55.

The women were all tested for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, known to boost breast cancer risk, and were followed for 10 years. Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a 36 percent to 84 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer, compared with a 12 percent lifetime risk for the average woman born today.

The chances of developing cancer in the opposite breast were especially high for those diagnosed with their first cancer early. For instance, those with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation diagnosed in their early to middle 30s had a 31 percent likelihood of developing cancer in the other breast in the next 10 years, but those diagnosed with the initial cancer at the same age but without the gene mutations had less than a 7 percent risk for cancer in the opposite breast in the next decade.

"Every woman who gets a first breast cancer is at increased risk for a second breast cancer," Malone explained. "This additional burden of being a mutation carrier further increases your risk of opposite breast cancer by about four times more."

Risk was higher with BRCA1 than with BRCA2, the study found.

And combining women of all ages, BRCA1 or BRCA2 carriers had an 18 percent risk for an opposite breast cancer at the 10-year follow-up, compared with a 4.9 percent risk for non-carriers.

Malone said that women diagnosed with breast cancer at younger ages should consider the possibility that they are mutation carriers and should talk with their physicians about possible genetic testing.

If they find out they are positive, they should then discuss a schedule of stepped-up screening, she said.

Susan Gapstur, vice president of epidemiology for the American Cancer Society, agrees with that suggestion.

"These results highlight consideration of genetic testing in young women diagnosed with breast cancer to better understand their future risk of cancer in the opposite breast and underscore the importance of appropriate prevention, treatment and regular screening to reduce risk."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.

SOURCES: Kathleen Malone, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate head, breast cancer research and epidemiology programs, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and professor, epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle; Susan Gapstur, Ph.D., M.P.H., vice president, epidemiology, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; April 5, 2010, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Gene Mutations Behind Brain Reduction
2. Gene Mutations Identified for Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome
3. Study shows that mutations in 1 gene cause many cancers
4. Breast cancer patients with BRCA mutations 4 times more likely to get cancer in opposite breast
5. Targeted therapy prolongs life in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer
6. New Drugs, New Combinations Fight Breast Cancer
7. Study Finds Possible Explanation for the Link Between Infertility and Breast/Ovarian Cancer Risks
8. MDS Nordions TheraSphere(R) for Unresectable Liver Cancer (HCC) Now Covered by Two Large U.S. Insurers
9. National Oncologist Group Warns: Current Health Care Reform Legislation Woefully Short In Addressing Cancer Care Crisis
10. Panel calls for reducing colorectal cancer deaths by striking down barriers to screening
11. Lung Cancer: Large Impact, Little Funding
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... StatRad ... has added Chris Hafey and Claude Hooton to its board of directors. The ... North America (RSNA) 2015 Annual Meeting and continues to strategically transform its focus ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... ... Trying to relax on a couch can actually be uncomfortable, so an ... due to personal experience with a bad back," he said. , This easy-to-use, versatile ... as increases support. It also makes it easier to eat, do other activities and ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios is back ... to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Users have full control over angle of ... Pulse masking effects, users are sure to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published November 13th ... in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental care, both at-home and ... the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) and diabetes. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... CO (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... According ... cities are not changing the way that they are handling security in light of ... police and security presence in an attempt to stop an attack from reaching U.S. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 27, 2015 Ein neuer ... Krebs.   --> Ein neuer Kombinationsansatz ...   --> Ein neuer Kombinationsansatz ...   Clinical Cancer Research vom ... Cancer Research vom 6. November 2015 berichtet. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... India , November 27, ... --> --> ... personal emergency response system (PERS) ... steadily for 5 years with ... region expected to see a ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met ... kanker. ) ...      (Photo: ) ... Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: