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Monday, April 14, 2014

Patients With Genetic Breast Cancer Risk May Also Be At Increased Risk for Uterine Cancers

For many years we have said that if a woman has one estrogen dependent cancer, she will likely be at risk for others. Cancer treatments also put one at risk for future cancers. So increased vigilance in getting all screenings are important for those with risk as well as those who have had disease. Women with BRCA1 mutations are at risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer, and now a link is suggested for some rarer types of uterine cancer in these patients. Given that all of these cancers may be estrogen dependent in some way, it is biologically plausible that there is an underlying link with the BRCA1 mutation. The reason this is extra important is that women who are  could be at increased risk of developing rare types of aggressive uterine cancer, in addition to their already well-known increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer, a new study shows. Because the link with ovarian cancer, some women have selected to have risk reducing surgery with just taking out the tubes and ovaries, as it's so much less surgery than also having a hysterectomy. Now  the Society of Gynecologic Oncology 45th Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer has, based year on a new study, urged patients to also consider hysterectomy if they have BRCA1. As always, women with medical reasons to have a hysterectomy should still follow basic guidelines. The new study included women BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and had undergone risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) all uterine cancers were diagnosed in women with a BRCA1 mutation. This study included women with tamoxifen use, and we also know that tamoxifen use increases baseline uterine cancer risk. Your gyno can use many pieces of information to calculate your basic risk for uterine cancer, and there is a data base called SEER that has information about specific cancers and age related hysterectomy risks. You can also, no matter what your baseline risk is, reduce your risk of uterine cancer in many ways, check out prior blog posts for more information.

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