Category Archives: Breast Cancer Genetics

The Importance of the Young Investigator

In 1990, when we started The Eva Brownman Breast Cancer Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, we provided seed money for the tamoxifen research being done by Dr. Judy Garber. Dr. Garber was then a young investigator.
Dr. Garber is now internationally known for your work in the field of breast cancer.  She is the Director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber and a professor at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Garber’s  extensive research and work in the field of breast cancer has changed the lives of women throughout the world.
As we look back as well as …

 

Can Women Get More Than One Lumpectomy?

For many women with localized breast cancer, a lumpectomy followed by breast radiation therapy may be the most effective treatment, with survival rates equal to a mastectomy. But if the cancer comes back, can women have additional lumpectomies?
Women should not have a second lumpectomy in the same breast if they were previously
Mehra Golshan, MD, FACS, director of Breast Surgical Services with the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, meets with patients to customize breast surgery approaches.
treated with a lumpectomy and radiation, says Mehra Golshan, MD, FACS, director of Breast Surgical Services at the Susan F. Smith Center …

 

Five Things Young Women with Breast Cancer Should Know

While the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are age 55 or older, about 14,500 women age 45 and younger are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are some facts about breast cancer all young women should know.
1. Genetic testing can help identify women who are at increased risk
SOG_9339_12-2While all women are at risk for breast cancer, women who have a family history of premenopausal breast or ovarian cancer or a family member with a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are at a higher risk and …

 

Busted: Five Myths About Breast Cancer

There’s a broad range of news and information about breast cancer online. That creates wonderful opportunities to learn about prevention, treatment, cures and recurrence. But it also means you may run into confusing misinformation and oversimplifications.
Here are some popular misconceptions:
 

MYTH #1
Most breast cancer is hereditary. While it’s true that a woman’s risk factor for developing breast cancer doubles if a first-degree relative has the disease, this statistic doesn’t tell the whole story.

In the vast majority of cases, breast cancer is not caused by an inherited gene defect (or mutation).
Only 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer is associated with a gene …

 

Cancer Genetics and Prevention Update

by Christine Hensel Triantos
Beyond BRCA1 and BRCA2:
Other Gene Mutations Linked to Cancer Risk
Many women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer choose genetic testing to find out if they have inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which could put them and their family members at a higher risk for these cancers. Now a panel test – known as BROCA – is available for women to learn if they have other gene mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer.
The panel includes mutations in about 25 genes associated with an increased risk for breast or ovarian cancer, and that number …

 

Young breast cancer patients often overestimate the benefit of having second breast removed

Shoshana Rosenberg, ScD, MPH

Young women with breast cancer often overestimate the odds that cancer will occur in their other, healthy breast, and decide to have the healthy breast surgically removed, a survey conducted by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators indicates. The survey also shows that many patients opt for the procedure – known as a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, or CPM – despite knowing it will be unlikely to improve their chance of survival.
The study, published in the Sept. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows a certain disconnect between what many patients know on an abstract, intellectual level – …