Genetic Diagnosis before Surgery has an Impact on Surgical Decision in BRCA Mutation Carriers with Breast Cancer
The first aim of our study was to evaluate surgical decision-making by BRCA mutation carriers with breast cancer based on the timing of knowledge of their BRCA mutation status. The second aim was to evaluate breast cancer outcome following surgical treatment.
This was a retrospective study of 164 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, tested for BRCA mutation, and treated with primary surgery between 2004 and 2015 at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea. We reviewed types of surgery and timing of the BRCA test result. We compared surgical decision- making of BRCA carriers with breast cancer based on the timing of knowledge of their BRCA mutation status.
Only 15 (9.1%) patients knew their BRCA test results before their surgery, and 149 (90.9%) knew the results after surgery. In patients with unilateral cancer, there was a significant difference between groups whose BRCA mutation status known before surgery and groups whose BRCA status unknown before surgery regarding the choice of surgery (p = 0.017). No significant difference was observed across surgery types of risk of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (p = 0.765) and contralateral breast cancer (p = 0.69).
Genetic diagnosis before surgery has an impact on surgical decision choosing unilateral mastectomy or bilateral mastectomy in BRCA mutation carriers with breast cancer. Knowledge about BRCA mutation status after initial surgery led to additional surgeries for patients with BCS. Thus, providing genetic counseling and genetic testing before surgical choice and developing treatment strategies for patients with a high risk of breast cancer are important.
The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea (Approval Numbers: 2017-01-142).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest in this manuscript, including financial, consultant, institutional, or other relationships that might lead to bias.