BRCA test results affect patients? surgery plans
Women diagnosed with breast cancer often face a crucial decision about the extent of their surgical treatment. Many meet national guidelines recommending testing for mutations in the BRCA 1 and 2 genes, which carry a substantial risk of future cancer. A new study reports that among women with breast cancer who undergo recommended testing before surgery, more than 7 in 10 who test positive will change their surgical plan, typically opting for a more extensive procedure such as a double mastectomy and sometimes ovary removal.
‘As soon as somebody hears they have a 65 percent chance of a new breast cancer in the future or an up to 60 percent chance of ovarian cancer, they are likely to do whatever they can to prevent that,’ said lead author Dr. Elizabeth Lokich, an obstetrics and gynecology fellow in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and at Women & Infants Hospital.
The study appears with the recommendation that women who meet National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for genetic testing (nccn.org) get the test before deciding on their surgery.
‘Particularly because of what we found