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Effect of Prior Bilateral Oophorectomy on the Presentation of Breast Cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutation Carriers

DOI: 10.1186/1897-4287-3-2-53

Keywords: BRCA1, BRCA2, breast cancer, oophorectomy

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Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation with the diagnosis of invasive breast cancer were identified from ten cancer genetics clinics. The medical history, medical treatment records and pathology reports for the breast cancers were reviewed. Information was abstracted from medical charts, including history (and date) of oophorectomy, date of breast cancer diagnosis, stage of disease, and pathologic characteristics of the breast cancer. Women with prior bilateral oophorectomy were matched by age, year of diagnosis, and mutation with one or more women who had two intact ovaries at the time of breast cancer diagnosis. Characteristics of the breast tumours were compared between the two groups.Women with prior bilateral oophorectomy presented with smaller tumours on average compared to women without prior oophorectomy (mean size 1.50 cm vs. 1.95 cm; p = 0.01). Additionally, although not statistically significant, women with intact ovaries were more likely to have high-grade tumour (70% vs. 54%: p = 0.10) and to have positive lymph nodes (34% vs. 18%; p = 0.11) compared to women with prior bilateral oophorectomy.Bilateral oophorectomy prior to breast cancer appears to favourably influence the biological presentation of breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have up to an 87% lifetime risk of developing invasive breast cancer [1]. The surgical removal of the ovaries in women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation has been shown to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer [2]. Nevertheless, some women who have had bilateral oophorectomy go on to develop breast cancer. Previous research has suggested that there may be an association between menopausal status and prognostic features of breast cancer [3], but this association has not been studied in women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation are encouraged to consider the option of prophylactic oophorectomy to prevent both breast and ovarian cancers. The r


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