Breast Cancer Gene Mutation Carriers Face Great Uncertainty

October 29, 2013 | Crandall & Pera Law
Breast Cancer Gene Mutation Carriers Face Great Uncertainty

Women who test positive for the BRCA gene mutation face a lot of uncertainty and conflicting information regarding their surgical options, according to a recent article in The New York Times

Women with BRCA mutations often opt for risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectory (RRSO), which removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes, but others consider going further and removing their uterus as well through a hysterectomy.

There is debate among experts over whether RRSO is the best strategy for all women, causing many patients to be caught in the middle, struggling to balance conflicting information about hysterectomy as part of risk-reducing surgery. There is also no way to predict what each individual will face in the future, regardless of her choice.

There is scant evidence that women with BRCA mutations are more likely to develop uterine cancer, but worries persist due to anecdotal cases and the fact that uterine cancer is the most commonly diagnosed gynecologic cancer.

"The biggest challenge is trying to make those risk-benefit decisions every day, every time and get it right," said Dr. Susan Domchek of the Basser Research Center for BRCA. "Some people you're overtreating, and some you're undertreating." Read the full article here:

Weighing Surgeries in Light of a Breast Cancer Gene

Better safe than sorry? If women have a genetic predisposition for cancer, is it better to have a hysterectomy or just have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed? This article demonstrates there is little agreement to this question.

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