Decisions and ethical issues among BRCA carriers and the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Minerva Med. 2009 Oct;100(5):371-83.


The lifetime risks for both breast and ovarian cancer for BRCA mutation carriers far exceeds the general population risk of 13% for breast cancer and 1.4% for ovarian cancer. BRCA carriers have unique and medically complicated decisions to make regarding their cancer treatment or risk reduction. As BRCA testing becomes increasingly common among unaffected individuals in families with a previously documented BRCA mutation, there are a growing number of individuals with unique psychosocial needs and concerns. This review paper describes the BRCA 1/2 population, discusses preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and describes the decisions and ethical issues related to PGD among the BRCA 1/ 2 population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Decision Making / ethics*
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Testing
  • Heterozygote*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis / ethics*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / ethics
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / ethics
  • Risk Assessment


  • Genetic Markers