Testing for BRCA Mutations Reaches High Levels Among Young Women With Breast Cancer, Study Finds

“The vast majority of young women with breast cancer are being tested for mutations in the cancer-susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, a new study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators suggests, and many of them are using the results of those tests to guide their treatment.

“The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology, provides encouraging evidence that patients are largely following National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines that women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50 or younger undergo genetic testing. At the same time, however, the researchers found that many patients who don’t carry BRCA1 or 2 mutations are choosing to have both breasts removed, even though their risk of cancer in the unaffected breast is no higher than average.”