Navigation Links
Study shows breastfeeding, birth control may reduce ovarian cancer risk in women with BRCA mutations

PHILADELPHIA Breastfeeding, tubal ligation also known as having one's "tubes tied" and oral contraceptives may lower the risk of ovarian cancer for some women with BRCA gene mutations, according to a comprehensive analysis from a team at the University of Pennsylvania's Basser Research Center for BRCA and the Abramson Cancer Center. The findings, a meta-analysis of 44 existing peer-reviewed studies, are published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers, from Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, found that breastfeeding and tubal ligation are associated with reduced rates of ovarian cancer in BRCA1 mutation carriers, and the use of oral contraceptives is associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA 2 mutations. The analysis also helped better define factors that may increase risk among this population: Smoking, for instance, may raise the risk of breast cancer for patients with a BRCA2 mutation. Though the team cautions that more data are required before definitive conclusions about these variables can be made, the findings help to shed light on non-surgical risk reduction options for women who may not be ready to undergo prophylactic removal of their ovaries to cut their cancer risk.

"Our analysis reveals that heredity is not destiny, and that working with their physicians and counselors, women with BRCA mutations can take proactive steps that may reduce their risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer," says lead author Timothy R. Rebbeck, PhD, professor of Epidemiology and Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Reduction Program Leader at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center. "The results of the analysis show that there is already sufficient information indicating how some variables might affect the risk of cancer for these patients."

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce tumor-suppressing proteins. A woman's risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer is notably increased if she inherits a harmful mutation in either the BRCA1 gene or the BRCA2 gene from either parent. Fifty-five to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation, and about 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70, compared to approximately 12 percent of women in the general population. Thirty-nine percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and up to 17 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop ovarian cancer by age 70, compared to only 1.4 percent of women in the general population. Both BRCA mutations have also been associated with increased risks of several other types of cancer.

Though the study's findings point to a helpful role for birth control pills in cutting ovarian cancer risk, the relationship between oral contraceptives and breast cancer risk was ambiguous. The authors say women and their health care providers should weigh the potential benefits of oral contraceptives (reduction in ovarian cancer risk, avoidance of unintended pregnancy, and regulation of menstrual cycles, for instance) against the potential risks (such as blood clots or the possible increased risk of breast cancer). There was also insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about the relationships between breastfeeding and tubal ligation, respectively, and breast cancer. Future research aims to examine these issues as well as how other variables, such as alcohol consumption, affect the risk of breast and ovarian cancer for BRCA mutation carriers. Since BRCA testing is relatively new, researchers have struggled to conduct large studies to examine these trends due to limited availability of large numbers of prospectively identified BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.

"Patients deserve better cancer-risk reduction options than surgically removing their healthy breasts and ovaries," said Susan Domchek, MD, executive director of the Basser Research Center for BRCA and co-author on the new paper. "It's imperative that we continue examining and building upon past research in this area so that we can provide BRCA mutation carriers with options at every age, and at every stage of their lives."


Contact: Katie Delach
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Study finds free fitness center-based exercise referral program not well utilized
2. Study finds outcome data in clinical trials reported inadequately, inconsistently
3. Who should be saved? Study gets diverse MD community views on healthcare disaster planning
4. Study findings question benefit of additional imaging before cancer surgery
5. Mayo Clinic study identifies strategies that reduce early hospital readmissions
6. Study: Former prisoners, parolees turn to emergency departments for care
7. Surgery study shows worse health, more problems & higher costs among Medicaid patients
8. Study identifies mechanism by which intestinal enzyme maintains microbial balance
9. Study confirms mitochondrial deficits in children with autism
10. Mouse study offers new clues to cognitive decline
11. New study examines premature menopause and effects on later life cognition
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... of a new PDF automation tool to batch conversions of CAD drawings, ... with 100% document fidelity. , CADConverter eliminates the complexity requirement of specialized applications ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... and development solutions for drugs, biologics, consumer health and animal health products, today ... and will lead a new, dedicated global team of drug development and technology ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... North American Tool Corporation has ... 2015 IBC National Meeting in Rosemont, IL on October 4th. , ... standards of excellence that customers have come to expect from members of IBC’s marketing ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... , ... Amerec , a leader in the steam and sauna industry, ... be displaying custom sauna and steam room solutions at the ISPA Conference & Expo ... customers, SpaEquip is recognized for their ability to assist in the design and implementation ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... AL (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... American ... continues to expand its footprint by opening its 151st medical center. Located at 606A ... , “We’re excited to continue fulfilling our mission of making quality health care ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Asterias Biotherapeutics, ... with the UK-based Cell Therapy Catapult to advance ... Asterias, allogeneic dendritic cell immunotherapy. Under the agreement, ... manufacturing processes for AST-VAC2 to support advanced clinical ... --> --> The Cell ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015 Given ... it is quite challenging to deliver an ophthalmic drug effectively ... overcome for a successful ocular drug delivery. These include dilution ... the lymphatic system of conjunctiva and drug permeation issues with ... the drug, in topical eye drops, is lost due to ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Use this report to: - Learn about ... medical membrane devices market. - Analyze the present and ... membrane devices market including hemodialyzers, membrane oxygenators, intravenous infusion ... - Gain information on newly approved products, recalls and ... this report to: - Learn about the performance, the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: