Mom's Cancer Shows Up Earlier in Daughters

"Women who are diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancers that are linked to some inherited mutations appear to develop the diseases earlier than the previous generation, researchers reported.

More than 100 women with BRCA-related cancer developed disease almost eight years younger than relatives in the previous generation, according to Jennifer Litton, MD, and colleagues at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston."

http://www.medpagetoday.com/HematologyOncology/BreastCancer/28459

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I wonder if that is because of the increasing toxicity in our environment?

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That is exactly what my Onc/gyn told me and my sister. Have the daughters be on guard 10 years earlier than the last family member got it. My sister got it at 73, I got it at 63.

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I'm BRCA negative but my mom and I both have ovca. No history of breast cancer in the family. She was diagnosed at 61 and I was 39, both IIIc.

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Heather, it seems from the article that only women with the BRCA gene were in the study. If not, there should be a study on moms and daughters without the mutation too.

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I read about a study some years ago that had similar findings. Since breast and ovarian cancer are both connected to what they call "reproductive history"--i.e., how many kids a woman has, at what age she has them, use of birth control, etc.--there was speculation that since women who came of age several decades ago tended to have more kids and at an earlier age, this offered them some protection and caused the cancers to show up at a later age.

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My onc has Ovarian cancer in her family. From what she sees, she feels there are other genes at play other than BRCA that seem to carry the Ovarian cancer. None of us are BRCA, yet Mother had breast cancer and I have PCC and sister OVCA. Just because they haven't named the gene yet, doesn't mean it isn't there. I say all family women should be on guard.

SueB

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I have not had the BRCA testing...but, my grandmother died of OC at the age of 78 and died in 1961; my mom was diagnosed, at the age of 65,(she was an only child) with OC in Sept. 1986 and died Jan 1989 at the age of 68; I am the youngest of 4 girls and the only one diagnosed with OC at the age of 51. I have heard each generation is about 10 years younger when diagnosed.

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There are other mutations that are rarer than the BRCA therefore not tested.
I believe there are tests for other mutations but they are very expensive therefore not offered.
Since both you and your mom had OVCA it might be worth it to look into further testing, especially if you have daughters.

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These findings apply to BRCA mutations. This decline in average age of diagnosis has been widely observed. The "Boadicea" risk model used in the UK (and at Dana Farber) takes into account the age at which relatives of the proband developed breast or ovarian cancer. There may be many factors involved, including environmental factors promoting cancer-causing mutations, later child bearing (with reduced protection), and earlier detection of cancers. There aren't many reasons for being happy about developing cancer at the age of 67, but this is one of them - my aunt and grandmother died of BRCA-related cancers at earlier ages than mine at the time of diagnosis.

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