(HealthDay News) – In women with BRCA1/2–associated ovarian cancer (BRCA–OC), the risk of metachronous breast cancer is lower than for unaffected BRCA carriers, according to research published online Nov. 16 in Cancer.

Susan M. Domchek, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues estimated the risk of breast cancer after a diagnosis of BRCA–OC in a study involving 164 women who participated in genetic testing and follow–up studies from 1995–2009. One hundred fifteen women had BRCA1 and 49 had BRCA2.

The researchers found that the median follow–up from OC was 5.8 years for those not developing breast cancer. A total of 46 deaths occurred but none were attributed to breast cancer. In the cohort, overall survival was 85% and 68%, respectively, at five and 10 years. Eighteen cases of metachronous breast cancer were diagnosed. Breast cancer–free survival was 97% and 91%, respectively, at five and 10 years. In a subset of women tested before or within 12 months of BRCA–OC, overall survival was 71% and 62%at five and 10 years, respectively, while breast cancer–free survival was 100% and 87%, at five and 10 years, respectively.

“We demonstrate that the risk of metachronous breast cancer in the five years after a diagnosis of BRCA ovarian cancer is limited, and that survival is dominated by ovarian cancer–related mortality,” the authors write. “These observations argue against aggressive surgical management of breast cancer risk in women with BRCA ovarian cancer, at least in the first five years after their ovarian cancer diagnosis.”

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