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Breast cancer and BRCA: Mutation doesn’t affect patient survival rate

| | January 17, 2018

Young breast cancer patients with faulty BRCA genes have the same survival chances as those without, a study has found. The researchers, who looked at almost 3,000 women, also found outcomes were the same whatever kind of treatment women had – including mastectomies.

The study, published in The Lancet Oncology, found 12% of 2,733 women aged 18 to 40 treated for breast cancer at 127 hospitals across the UK between 2000 and 2008 had a BRCA mutation. The women’s medical records were tracked for up to 10 years. During this time, 651 of the women died from breast cancer, and those with the BRCA mutation were equally likely to have survived at the two-, five- and 10-year mark as those without the genetic mutation.

About a third of those with the BRCA mutation had a double mastectomy to remove both breasts after being diagnosed with cancer. This surgery did not appear to improve their chances of survival at the 10-year mark. But the researchers said surgery may still be beneficial.

The study’s author, Professor Diana Eccles, of the University of Southampton, said: “Women diagnosed with early breast cancer who carry a BRCA mutation are often offered double mastectomies soon after their diagnosis or chemotherapy treatment.

“However, our findings suggest that this surgery does not have to be immediately undertaken along with the other treatment.”

Read full, original post: Breast cancer survival ‘unaffected by faulty gene’

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