Risk-reducing surgery, screening and chemoprevention practices of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers: a prospective cohort study


Kelly-Anne Phillips, MBBS (Hons), MD, FRACP, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Locked Bag No.1, A’Beckett St, Victoria 8006, Australia.
Tel.: +61 3 96561701;
fax: +61 3 96561408;
e-mail: kelly.phillips@petermac.org


This study prospectively evaluated the utilization of cancer risk management strategies in a multi-institutional cohort of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers using a self-report questionnaire. Of 142 unaffected female mutation carriers, 70 (49%) had elected to receive their mutation result. Of those who knew their mutation result, 11% underwent bilateral mastectomy (BM), 29% had bilateral oophorectomy (BO), 78% performed regular breast self-examination (BSE), and 80%, 89%, 67%, and 0% had at least annual clinical breast examination (CBE), mammography, transvaginal ultrasound (TVU), and CA125, respectively. A further 20%, 7%, 0%, 21%, and 75%, respectively, reported never having had these tests. For women who elected not to receive their mutation result, 0% underwent BM, 6% underwent BO, and 77%, 42%, 56%, 7%, and 0% had regular BSE, CBE, mammography, TVU, and CA125, respectively. Only one woman used chemoprevention outside a clinical trial. Uptake of prophylactic surgery and screening was associated with knowing one’s mutation status (for all behaviors except BSE), age (for BO and CBE) and residence (for mammography). In this cohort, the minority of mutation carriers utilized risk-reducing surgery or chemoprevention and a substantial minority were not undergoing regular cancer-screening tests.