A study is good news for women who have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 abnormality. Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 abnormality have up to an 85% risk of developing breast cancer by age 70. BRCA1 and BRCA2 abnormalities are found in 5% to 10% of all breast cancer cases in the United States.
This study suggests that women diagnosed with breast cancer who have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 abnormality have the same prognosis as women who don't have these genetic abnormalities. If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, a BRCA1 or BRCA2 abnormality doesn't seem to influence your survival or the treatment plan you and your doctor choose.
If you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 abnormality and haven't been diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk for breast cancer is higher than the average woman's. You and your doctor should develop a special screening plan that includes more frequent screenings starting at an early age and possibly MRI scans or other screening techniques. These genetic abnormalities also increase your risk for ovarian cancer, so it's important to discuss this with your doctor as well. To learn more, visit the breastcancer.org Genetics and Breast Cancer Risk section.