According to an analysis led by the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, women with cancer in one breast may be more likely to develop cancer in the opposite breast if they carry specific genetic changes predisposing them to develop breast cancer.
The researchers found that patients who carry a germline BRCA1, BRCA2, or CHEK2 mutation have at least a twofold high risk of formulating cancer in both breasts, known as contralateral breast cancer.
“The findings reveal important information that will aid in a personalized assessment of contralateral breast cancer risk in our patients who are germline mutation carriers,” Dr. Yadav says. “Having this level of detail will help guide decisions between patients and their care teams on appropriate screening and steps to reduce the risk for contralateral breast cancer based on more precise and individualized risk estimates.”
“Many women will undergo bilateral mastectomy to reduce the possibility of a second breast cancer,” Dr. Couch says. “Now we have data to work from when making the decision to remove the second breast, pursue aggressive surveillance or take preventive medication.”
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