Family history key in figuring breast cancer risk

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women with a family history of breast cancer but who test negative for two genetic mutations commonly linked to it still have a very high risk of developing the disease, Canadian researchers said on Monday.

These women are four times more likely to develop breast cancer than the average woman, translating to roughly a 40 percent lifetime risk of getting the disease, according to researchers led by Dr. Steven Narod of the University of Toronto.

“I think we were surprised that it was that high. But certainly at that level of risk, one would think about preventive measures,” Narod, who presented the findings at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, said in a telephone interview.

Those measures may include magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, exams of the breast, considered a more sensitive screening test for breast tumors than a mammogram, Narod said. The women also may want to consider the drug tamoxifen as a preventive measure, Narod said.

The study involved 1,492 Canadian women with an average age of 48 who did not have mutations in either of two breast cancer susceptibility genes — BRCA1 and BRCA2.

The women came from families with a history of breast cancer — either two or more cases of breast cancer among close relatives under age 50 or at least three cases among close relatives of any age. Narod said it had been unclear exactly what risk breast cancer posed to women in these circumstances.

Most women who get genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 are not found to have these abnormalities.

While BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations also are associated with a higher risk for ovarian cancer, the women in this study did not have a greater likelihood for that ailment.

Narod said the lifetime risk of breast cancer estimated for these women compared to the roughly 80 percent lifetime risk for women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

The likelihood that a woman’s breast cancer is linked to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is particularly high among women with an Ashkenazi, or Eastern European, Jewish background.

Each year, breast cancer kills about 465,000 women worldwide and 1.3 million develop it, according to the American Cancer Society.

(Editing by Bill Trott)

Source

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Posts:


By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Women with high-risk genetic mutations who have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed lower their risk of cancer in those organs by about 80 percent but can still be afflicted, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. They analyzed pooled data from several studies of women at high risk for the cancers because

Full Post: Ovarian surgery doesn’t end all cancer risk: study
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It may be possible to predict which breast cancer patients will be helped by tamoxifen based on changes in so-called breast density, researchers reported on Saturday. Women with dense breasts — a term meaning they have more non-fatty tissue — are known to have a higher risk

Full Post: Breast changes tell whether treatment works: study
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LONDON (Reuters) - The first baby girl in Britain to have been screened before conception for a genetic form of breast cancer has been born, doctors said on Friday. While a first in Britain, the strategy has been used elsewhere across the world to screen for the cancer-related BRCA1 gene variant, and the technique has also

Full Post: UK’s first breast cancer gene screen baby born
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - A screening schedule that alternates between a breast MRI and a mammogram every six months may do a better job of spotting early cancers in high-risk women than an annual exam, U.S. researchers said on Saturday. Women who are at high risk for breast cancer currently get a yearly mammogram and

Full Post: Rotating breast cancer tests helps high-risk women
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Megan Rauscher NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Among United States Latinas, a greater degree of European genetic ancestry is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, the results of a new study indicate. This could be due to environmental factors, genetic factors, or the interplay of the two, the study team suggests. Latina women generally

Full Post: European origin may up Latinas’ breast cancer risk

Site Navigation

Most Read

Search