Hereditary breast-ovarian cancer: clinical findings and medical management

Plast Surg Nurs. 2007 Jul-Sep;27(3):124-7. doi: 10.1097/01.PSN.0000290280.48197.e7.


Approximately 5% to 10% of breast and ovarian cancers are related to an inherited gene mutation. Of these cases, 84% of hereditary breast cancer and more than 90% of hereditary ovarian cancer are caused by mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Family histories of cancer are an essential tool in identifying features of and individuals at risk for hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome. The risk to carry an identifiable BRCA gene mutation can be assessed by trained healthcare providers using various pre-test risk models. Individuals who carry a BRCA gene mutation have increased lifetime risks of developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome-related cancers. Genetic testing for the BRCA gene mutations is offered in accordance with American Society of Clinical Oncology guidelines. In accordance with guidelines, patients are informed of the risks, benefits, and limitations of testing prior to electing to undergo the testing process. Upon receipt of results, healthcare providers offer the patient with appropriate medical management recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1
  • Genes, BRCA2
  • Genetic Counseling / organization & administration*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetic Testing / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Mastectomy
  • Medical History Taking
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / diagnosis
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / genetics*
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary / therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Ovariectomy
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pedigree
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Syndrome