Current Month 2008
Article Features
  Anthracyclines Improve Survival in HER2-positive Breast Cancer Patients
New Pathway Provides More Clues About BRCA1 Role in Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Cells Have to Learn to Walk Before They Can Run
Chemotherapy and Tamoxifen Reduce Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Cost-Effectiveness of Breast Cancer Screening with Digital Mammography
Docetaxel Given After Doxurubicin Reduces Recurrence
Survival Shortened When ER/PR Negative Breast Cancer Spreads to the Brain
Herceptin Helps Women With Multiple Chromosomes Containing HER2 Gene
Combined HRT Increases Risk of Lobular Breast Cancer Fourfold After Just Three Years
Survey Underscores Importance of Emotional/Educational Needs Among Women with Advanced Breast Cancer
Herceptin Helps Women With Multiple Chromosomes Containing HER2 Gene
Breast Cancer Risk Elevated in Male BRCA Mutation Carriers
Men Unaware of Their Cancer Risk When Female Relatives Test Positive for BRCA Mutations
Findings Point to Molecular 'Achilles Heel' for Half of Breast Cancer Tumors
Despite Efforts, Significant Racial Disparities in Cancer Therapy Still Exist
Most Breast Cancer Surgeons Donít Talk to Patients About Reconstruction Options
Safer, More Accurate Radiation Therapy for Expecting Mothers
Decoding Saliva to Detect Breast Cancer
Molecules Can Block Breast Cancerís Ability to Spread
Majority of Older Women with Early Stage Breast Cancer Fail to Adhere to Tamoxifen Regimen
Most Breast Cancer Surgeons Donít Talk to Patients About Reconstruction Options
American Women are More Likely to Choose Overly Aggressive Treatment for Breast Cancer
Addressing The Care Gap in Underserved Women Not Easy


Breast Cancer Risk Varies Significantly Among BRCA1 and BRCA2 Carriers

There is a broad variation in the risk of developing breast cancer among people who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are gene mutations that predispose carriers to breast cancer. The magnitude of the risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers is critical for guiding decisions concerning cancer prevention options. The risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers has been examined in many studies, but relatively little attention has been paid to the degree to which the risk may vary among carriers, according to background information in the article.

Colin B. Begg, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues conducted an investigation to determine the extent to which risks of BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers vary with respect to observable and unobservable characteristics. Participants in the Women's Environmental Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology (WECARE) Study, who were previously diagnosed with unilateral breast cancer (affecting only one side) or contralateral breast cancer (affecting the opposite side of an initial breast cancer), were genotyped for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. All participants had their initial breast cancer diagnosed during the period from January 1985 through December 2000, before the age of 55.

"Among the 1,394 participants with unilateral breast cancer, 73 (5.2 percent) were identified as carriers of deleterious mutations (42 with BRCA1 and 31 with BRCA2)," the authors report. "Among the 704 participants with contralateral breast cancer, 108 (15.3 percent) were identified as carriers of deleterious mutations (67 with BRCA1 and 41 with BRCA2)."

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