BRCA1, familial breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility 1

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Is it safe for people with BRCA1 gene mutations to use hormone replacement therapy after an oophorectomy and for people with BRCA1 gene mutations?

There is much debate over this question. Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can increase the risk for breast cancer. Many physicians are nervous to prescribe HRT to a woman whose risk for breast cancer is already high. The benefits of HRT after prophylactic oophorectomy can greatly improve quality of life for some women though. Some research has shown that prophylactic oophorectomy reduces the risk for breast cancer even with HRT use. More specifically, one study demonstrated that short-term use of HRT following an oophorectomy did not significantly alter breast cancer risk. There are many factors to discuss with your healthcare provider before deciding whether you should use HRT.

Rebbeck, T.R., Friebel, T., Wagner, T., et al. Effect of short-term hormone replacement therapy on breast cancer risk reduction after bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers: the PROSE Study Group. J Clin Oncol. 2005; 23: 31: 7804-7810

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