Epidemiology of breast cancer among BRCA mutation carriers: an overview

Cancer Lett. 2004 Mar 8;205(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2003.10.005.


Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been associated with an increased lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Many of the well-recognized risk factors and risk modifiers in other women appear to operate similarly in BRCA mutation carriers. However, current evidence suggests that BRCA-related breast cancer risk is positively associated with pregnancy and parity, while smoking may reduce the risk. The incidence of BRCA1-related breast cancer is high before the age of 35 years and oral contraceptive use for 5 or more years is associated with increased risk of this disease among women carrying BRCA1 mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking