High risk women for breast cancer: risk estimation, management and prevention strategies.

Dimitrakakis K, Koumbis C, Tsiginou A, Ambela K, Antsaklis A. 

1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens, “Alexandra” Hospital, Athens, Greece. 

Correspondence: K. Dimitrakakis, 1st Obst. Gynec. Clinic, Athens University,“Alexandra” Hospital, Greece. 

 

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy affecting women. The etiology is unknown but certain risk factors can be identified to half of the cases and another 10% have a genetic predisposition to inherited breast cancer. There are a variety of risk factors with different impact, while some others have been shown to be protective. One of the most important issues for the survival is early diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Breast cancer risk estimation is a mean to recognize women at increased risk of developing breast cancer, intending to put these women at increased surveillance and discussing interventional approaches.
Hereditary breast cancer is associated mainly with mutations to genes BRCA 1 and 2, while mutations to other genes are responsible for rare hereditary syndromes that include breast cancer. Genetic testing is recommended in selected patients with a strong family history that makes it possible to carry a mutation. Women who meet the criteria for hereditary breast cancer should be offered the appropriate
genetic counseling and effective breast cancer risk reduction strategies have been identified.

Key words: risk factors; breast cancer; genetic counseling; familial breast cancer; inherited breast cancer; genetic test; BRCA mutations.