Breast, ovary removal found to raise cancer survival rates

September 2, 2010

Breast, ovary removal found to raise cancer survival rates

Los Angeles Times
By Thomas H. Maugh
August 31, 2010

Preemptive removal of breasts or ovaries in women with two common breast cancer genes can sharply reduce the risk of contracting cancer and dying, even if a woman has already been diagnosed with breast cancer, a new study confirms.

Researchers were already confident that such prophylactic surgeries reduce the risk of cancer, but the new study, reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., is the largest such investigation to date and the first to differentiate the benefits based on which gene a woman has and whether or not she has already had cancer. It is also the first to show a survival benefit.
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Removal of the ovaries and ovarian tubes in women with either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes can almost completely eliminate the risk of ovarian cancer and reduce the risk of breast cancer by about two-thirds, the study found. Removal of breasts can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 85%. Either procedure reduces the risk of dying by at least two-thirds.

Los Angeles Times
By Thomas H. Maugh
August 31, 2010

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