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Women at Risk for Hereditary Breast Cancer

Grant #: Research Grant
PI Name: Geller B
Title: Women at Risk for Hereditary Breast Cancer
Institute: Lake Champlain Cancer Research Organization, Inc.


Background: Women at risk of inherited breast cancer have been identified for intervention studies through newly diagnosed relatives or from volunteers with a family history. This pilot study tests the use of a mammography registry to identify women at risk. Method: Fifty women with a first-degree relative diagnosed with breast cancer before age 45 were randomly selected from the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System. Thirty-three (66%) women completed a phone interview that included a three generation family pedigree of breast and ovarian cancer.

Results: Fifty-one percent of the women were at higher risk for inherited breast cancer based on the family history. Eighteen percent of the first-degree relatives' breast cancers were pathologically confirmed.

Conclusion: Mammography registries that collect similar family history data may be used to identify women at risk for inherited breast cancer. Many intervention studies would require improved methods to obtain pathological confirmation.