Evaluation and Management of Women With BRCA1/2 Mutations
October 01, 2005
Genetic counseling and testing for susceptibility to breast and ovariancancer is often an integral component of management for womenwith a personal and/or family history of these malignancies. In thisarticle, we will briefly review the function and genetic epidemiology ofthe two major susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. We will thenaddress approaches to risk assessment for women at high risk with respectto the probability that they harbor a deleterious mutation in oneof these genes, and the likelihood that they will develop cancer if sucha mutation is identified. The process of genetic counseling and testingis discussed, including a summary of the potential benefits, limitations,and risks of testing as well as a summary of test result interpretation.We conclude with a review and appraisal of the various options forbreast and ovarian cancer risk reduction and screening options forwomen with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.