Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Psychosocial Issues in Inherited Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndromes

Table 15. Uptake of Risk-reducing Salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) and/or Gynecologic Screening AmongBRCA1andBRCA2Mutation Carriers continued...

A number of women choose to undergo RRM and RRSO without genetic testing because of the following:

  • Testing is not readily accessible.
  • They do not wish exposure to the psychosocial risks of genetic testing.
  • They do not trust that a negative genetic test result means they are not at increased risk.
  • They find any level of risk, even baseline population risk, unacceptable.[235,236]

Among first-degree relatives of breast cancer patients attending a surveillance clinic, women who expressed an interest in RRM and/or had undergone surgery were found to have significantly more breast cancer biopsies (P < .05) and higher subjective 10-year breast cancer risk estimates (P < .05) than women not interested in RRM. Cancer worry at the time of entry into the clinic was highest among women who subsequently underwent RRM compared with women who expressed interest but had not yet had surgery and women who did not intend to have surgery (P < .001).[237]

Few studies have evaluated the impact of BRCA1/BRCA2 test results on risk-reducing surgery decisions among women affected with breast cancer. A study that evaluated predictors of contralateral RRM among 435 breast cancer survivors found that 16% had undergone contralateral RRM (in conjunction with mastectomy of the affected breast) before referral for genetic counseling and BRCA1/BRCA2 genetic testing.[238] Predictors of contralateral RRM before genetic counseling and testing included younger age at breast cancer diagnosis, more time since diagnosis, having at least one affected first-degree relative, and not being employed full-time. In the year after disclosure of test results, 18% of women who tested positive for a BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation and 2% of those whose test results were uninformative underwent contralateral RRM. Predictors of contralateral RRM after genetic testing included younger age at breast cancer diagnosis, higher cancer-specific distress before genetic counseling, and having a positive BRCA1/BRCA2 test result. In this study, contralateral RRM was not associated with distress at 1 year after disclosure of genetic test results. A retrospective chart review evaluated uptake of bilateral mastectomies in 110 women who underwent BRCA1/BRCA2 genetic testing before making surgical decisions about the treatment of newly diagnosed breast cancer. BRCA mutation carriers were more likely to undergo bilateral mastectomies than were women in whom no mutation was detected (83% vs. 37%; P = .046).[239] The only predictor of contralateral RRM in women without a mutation was being married (P = .03). Age, race, parity, disease stage and biomarkers, increased mammographic breast density, and breast MRI did not influence contralateral RRM decisions at the time of primary surgical treatment.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow