Scientists connect the BRCA gene mutation to both breast and uterine cancer. Even if the incidence is not different from the one in the general population, the type of uterine cancer that appears in women with BRCA gene mutation is very aggressive.
The BRCA 1 already proved to increase the risk of breast cancer, and now researchers found evidence that BRCA 2 can be linked to ovarian cancer.
The risk showed to be that high that women started considering removing both breasts and ovaries to prevent the risk.
The study analyzed 1,100 women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. The population included women from the US and the UK that were monitored for a period of five years.
The uterine cancer prevalence showed to be at the same level as the one in the general population. The difference came in the type of cancer, as five of the eight women who got sick got infected by a grave form of endometrial cancer, which was only found in women with BRCA1 gene mutation.
“We were surprised when we saw the data. This is an event that should not occur in the over 600 women with BRCA1 mutations in our study. Even if we followed these women for 25 years, you would only expect to see no more than one serious cancer,” explained Dr. Noah Kauff, author of the study.
The results of the long-term case analysis would probably help women make better decisions concerning their cancer treatment.
Regarding women who need to remove their uterus because of cancer, researchers recommend the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes.
The advice is not applicable to women who still want to have children.
However, the reverse is not true. Women to decide to remove their breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes do not have a clear benefit from removing their uterus too.
Scientists warn that more studies need to be performed in order to assess the efficiency of such an invasive surgery in reducing a 3 to 5% risk of severe uterine cancer. The decision is difficult to make especially because the disease risk prolongs over a period of 25 years, which implies a high uncertainty factor.
Moreover, the second surgery for women who already removed a part of the reproductive system could lead to serious complications, and it also represents a financial cost that needs to be completely justified.
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