Breast cancer gene does not boost risk of death

Breast cancer gene does not boost risk of death

This new study found that even after 10 years, women with BRCA mutations had equally high odds of surviving.

According to the American Cancer Society, women with a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have a seven-in-10 chance of getting breast cancer by the age of 80.

Located within Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, The Basser Research Center for BRCA focuses exclusively on BRCA1 and BRCA2.

However, the researchers noted the results might not translate to older women with a BRCA mutation, as they were not involved in the study and more research would be needed in this area.

The findings might come as a welcomed breath of fresh air for many young women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, particularly those who are BRCA carriers.

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The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes usually produce molecules inside cells that help to fix DNA. "Understanding prognosis in young patients is important because patients with BRCA mutations are at increased risk of developing specific conditions, such as secondary cancers, including ovarian cancer, contralateral breast cancer, and de novo breast cancer in the same breast".

Dr. Susan M. Domchek, Executive Director of the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and a national leader on the OlympiAD trials, said: "Patients diagnosed with BRCA-related metastatic breast cancer are often younger than other breast cancer patients, and their disease is often much more aggressive and hard to treat".

But the study by the University of Southampton, of women between the ages of 18 and 40 years, found after treatment, there was no significant difference is survival rate between women who have a faulty gene and women who do not.

The researchers tracked the women a their treatment for more than eight years.

In 2013, Hollywood star Angelina Jolie announced she had had both breasts surgically removed as a preventative measure after tests revealed she carried the mutation, despite not having been diagnosed with cancer.

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Ellen R. Copson, Ph.D., from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving female patients recruited from 127 hospitals in the United Kingdom who were aged 40 years or younger at first diagnosis of invasive breast cancer.

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Friday cleared the first treatment for patients with advanced breast cancer caused by BRCA mutations, which are genetic defects that raise the risk of malignancies.

Women who have had breast cancer are also more likely to be diagnosed with the disease a second time if they carry these genetic faults, which is why some choose to have risk-reducing surgery such as removing the breasts.

"So long as women are treated appropriately and are safe there is no crashing hurry ... they need to be given the space to get as much information as they can and not feel like they need to do it all at once", Fran Boyle, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Sydney told the SMH.

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