Scientists Rule Out Outcome Differences in Sporadic and Hereditary Breast Cancer

Young women with a family history of breast cancer, now have cause to be less worried.

Coming after last week’s revelation that MRI can be helpful in breast cancer prediction, is an extensive study published in the British Journal of Surgery, this week. The research has concluded that women suffering from breast cancer and having a family history of the disease, have the exactly same chances of successfully being treated, as do women afflicted by the same disease but without a family history, have.

The present analysis was based on a 15-year observation of the personal characteristics, tumor characteristics, breast cancer treatment, disease-free intervals and family history of breast cancer. The study was called the POSH study - Prospective Outcomes in Sporadic vs. Hereditary Breast Cancer. The sample of the study were 2,850 women below the age of 41 years, who were diagnosed with breast cancer and treated in the UK.

Out of this sample, two-thirds of the patients reported no history, while the remaining reported breast cancer in at least one first- or second-degree relative, wherein parents and siblings formed first-degree relatives and uncle, aunt and grandparents accounted for second-degree relatives.

The study that strove to find links between disease factors and outcomes, concluded that no significant differences in rates of cancer returning after treatment were seen for women with a family history of breast cancer compared with those without. The study also found the 5-year disease-free interval (DFI), measured as the time from the date of diagnosis of invasive breast cancer to death from breast cancer comparable, as being 74.9 percent in women without family history, in contrast to 77.4 percent for women with positive family history.

However, women with a family history of the disease were more likely than those without, to have higher-grade tumors and their tumors were more likely to be negative for HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2).

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