Posted on March 8th, 2009 by
According to the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, risk of breast cancer among BRCA1/2 carriers varies across families.
Inherited mutations in two genes-BRCA1 and BRCA2-have been found to greatly increase the lifetime risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Mutations in these genes can be passed down through either the mother’s or the father’s side of the family.
To explore whether and how risk of breast cancer varies among women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, researchers evaluated breast cancer risk among female first-degree relatives (mothers, sisters, daughters) of breast cancer patients with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.
Information was available for 598 female first-degree relatives (350 from BRCA1 families and 248 from BRCA2 families).
The researchers conclude that there is broad variation in risk of breast cancer among carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
Reference: Begg CB, Haile RW, Borg A et al. Variation of breast cancer risk among BRCA1/2 carriers. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2008;299:194-201.
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