Heredity Does Not Determine Breast Cancer Survival
By David Douglas
NEW YORK- Contrary to some previous reports, breast cancer patients with a
genetic predisposition to the disease have survival rates similar to those
of other breast cancer patients, Finnish researchers have found.
Dr. Hannaleena Eerola, of Helsinki University Central Hospital, told
Reuters Health that several studies have looked at survival among women
with familial breast cancer, but the results have been inconsistent.
She and her colleagues investigated the survival rates of 359 familial
breast cancer patients. Of these, 32 were from families positive for the
BRCA1 susceptibility gene, 43 were from BRCA2-positive families and the
remaining 284 were from families negative for both.
Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes account for most cases of inherited
breast and ovarian cancer, they note in the August 1st issue of the
International Journal of Cancer.
When the researchers compared the survival rates of their study patients
with that of other breast cancer patients (almost 60,000) diagnosed in
Finland over more than 40 years, they found that women with a genetic
susceptibility to the disease had survival rates comparable to other patients.
The overall 5-year survival rate was 67% for breast cancer patients from
BRCA1-positive families, 77% for those from BRCA2-positive families, 86%
for those with familial disease not related to these two mutations, and 78%
for women whose cancer was not related to heredity, Eerola and her
When they factored in the women's age, stage of the disease and year of
diagnosis, there were no significant differences in survival between women
with familial breast cancer and the general breast cancer population.
Still, Eerola noted that even the small survival differences they found--if
confirmed in larger studies--could affect the care of women with familial
breast cancer. However, she concluded that ``based on this and previous
studies, it is probable that large differences do not exist.''
SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer 2001;93:368-372.
Breast Cancer News is brought to you by the The MID HUDSON OPTIONS PROJECT,
INC a grassroots Breast Cancer Health Advocacy, Support and Activist Group.
Intl J of Cancer, 5/02
Int'l J Cancer, 9/02
Annals of Surg Onc, 2/04
British J Cancer, online 2/04
|Remember we are NOT Doctors and have NO medical training.|
This site is like an Encyclopedia - there are many pages, many links on many topics.
Support our work with any size DONATION - see left side of any page - for how to donate. You can help raise awareness of CAM.