Women with BRCA mutations have an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, therefore they often start mammography screening at an earlier age than women without these mutations. Researchers have postulated that risk of breast cancer for these women might be further increased because of repeated and early screening and because they might be more susceptible to radiation damage compared with women without these mutations. But, findings from a case-control study of 1600 matched pairs suggest such concerns might be unwarranted.
The researchers found no association between those that had ever had mammography compared with those that had never been screened by this method.
Prof Narod states "Prospective studies are needed to confirm the results of this initial report. The decision of whether to offer mammography screening to high-risk women should be based first on an assessment of the sensitivity of the screening tool and the potential benefits of early detection in this high-risk group".
Contact: Prof Steven Narod, Centre for Research in Women's Health, 790 Bay Street Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1N8, Canada. T) +1 416 351 3765 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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