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Breast Cancer Incidence And Mortality Are Lower With Risk-Reducing Mastectomies

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Breast Cancer Incidence And Mortality Are Lower With Risk-Reducing Mastectomies

(CTN News) – Research at the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at Women’s College Hospital and Professor Kelly Metcalfe at Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing found that risk-reducing mastectomies (RRMs) significantly lower the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer and the chance of dying in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic variants.

Researchers examined the effects of RRM on women with pathogenic variants and no cancer diagnosis in the British Journal of Cancer. As of yet, only one other study has been published in the Netherlands that quantifies the benefits associated with RRM.

A woman’s decision to undergo a risk-reducing mastectomy is often difficult, and the more evidence we provide her with when she is making that decision, the better informed her care plan will be,” says Metcalfe, also a Senior Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute.

Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 variants have an 80% chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. RRMs reduce the risk of breast cancer by 90%, and 30% of women with a pathogenic variant opt for this surgery in Canada. A high-risk woman can prevent breast cancer with this method, says Metcalfe.

Over the course of six years, Metcalfe and her team followed over 1600 participants from a registry of women with a pathogenic BRCA 1/2 variant from nine different countries, half of whom underwent a risk-reducing mastectomy.

The RRM group suffered 20 cancers and two deaths at the end of the trial, while the control group suffered 100 breast cancers and seven deaths.

The risk of developing cancer after a risk-reducing mastectomy decreased by 80 percent, and the probability of dying from breast cancer after 15 years after a risk-reducing mastectomy was less than 1%.

Even though there was no significant difference in death rates between the two groups, we know that a risk-reducing mastectomy significantly reduces the risk of ever developing cancer.” says Metcalfe.

It will be possible to assess the true mortality risk with precision and highlight the benefits associated with this type of surgery if Metcalfe follows these participants for an extended period of time.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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