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Am J Med Genet A. 2012 Dec;158A(12):3056-60. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.35550. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

Increased risk of breast cancer in women with NF1.

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Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common autosomal dominant disorder associated with increased risk for neoplasms. Two studies in the United Kingdom have indicated that women with NF1 (particularly women under 50) may also be at increased risk of breast cancer. No such study has been done to date in the United States. Chart review for breast cancer diagnoses was undertaken for 126 women with NF1 followed at Johns Hopkins who were 20 years of age or older. Four of 126 women who met eligibility criteria were diagnosed with breast cancer (3.2% over 15 years). The unadjusted standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for breast cancer in the NF1 population between the ages of 20 and 49 was 2.68 (P = 0.076, 95% CI 0.68-7.29) based on incidence rates of breast cancer in the general population taken from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database. The unadjusted SIR for women with NF1 ≥50 was 0.81 (P = 0.84, 95% CI 0.041-4.01). When adjusted for race, the rate of NF1 in the general population and time of diagnosis, the SIR was 4.41 (P = 0.0049, 95% CI 1.12-12.00) for women <50 versus 0.94 (P = 0.95, 95% CI 0.047-4.65) for women ≥50. The trend of a higher-than-expected number of breast cancer cases in women <50 with NF1 agrees with the prior studies from the literature. Cumulatively, the data suggests an increased risk of breast cancer for women with NF1 < 50 years old, implying a need for closer surveillance and the establishment of screening guidelines for this patient population.

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