Breast Cancer Gene Mutation Increases Risk of Aggressive Uterus Cancer, Study Reveals

Breast Cancer Gene Mutation Increases Risk of Aggressive Uterus Cancer, Study Reveals
A large study by the Duke Cancer Institute confirms that women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 gene — a known risk factor for aggressive breast cancer — also risk developing a deadly cancer of the uterus. The study, Uterine Cancer After Risk-Reducing Salpingo-oophorectomy Without Hysterectomy in Women With BRCA Mutations, published in the journal JAMA Oncology, will likely change how women with the mutations are treated, offering women the choice to get their uterus removed to prevent cancer. Having a mutation in the BRCA1 gene has been known as a risk factor for some time. Current research recommends that women with the faulty gene remove both breasts, and possibly their ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent the cancer from developing in these high-risk organs. While smaller studies have suggested that the uterus might be another organ worth removing to protect women from BRCA1-related cancer, the evidence had been weak and inconclusive. “This is the study that has been needed,” said senior study author Noah D. Kauff, head of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at the Duke Cancer Institute. “Our study presents the strongest evidence to date that women with this genetic mutation should at least discuss with their doctors the option of having a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus, cervix and sometimes part of the vagina) along with the removal of their ovaries and fallopian tubes.”
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