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Eur J Cancer. 2006 Mar;42(5):621-8. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Risk-reducing surgery in women with familial susceptibility for breast and/or ovarian cancer.

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Department of Haematology and Medical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, Vic., Australia.


This multicentre study examined uptake of bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy (BRRM) and bilateral risk-reducing oophorectomy (BRRO) in women at increased risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer who had attended a familial cancer clinic (FCC) between January 1999 and June 2000. Eligible women (N=396), were mailed a questionnaire assessing: BRRM and BRRO details; risk perception; and anxiety. Family history, genetic testing and risk assessment were abstracted from medical records. Surgery was cross-tabulated with demographics, risk perception and anxiety with either Fisher's exact test or the exact form of the Mantel-Haenszel test (for ordinal factors) used to investigate for associations. Ordinal logistic regression was used with continuous-scale covariates. In total, 130 women were lost to follow-up leaving 266; of these 182 (68.4%) responded. Mean follow-up time was 3.73 years. The BRRM rate was 4.4%; with no difference found between moderate and high-risk groups. BRRM was associated with increasing numbers of affected relatives (P=0.025). BRRO was undertaken by 17.3%, more commonly in women older than 40 years of age (P=0.023) and with a BRCA1/2 mutation (P=0.017). Women who underwent BRRM (P=0.052) or BRRO (P<0.001) had a lower post-procedure risk perception than those who did not. During the timeframe of this study, risk-reducing surgery was undertaken by a small percentage of Australian women at increased risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer who attended FCCs. Family cancer history and mutation status were associated with uptake.

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