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Commentary on: Pijpe A, Andrieu N, Easton DF, et al., on behalf of GENEPSO, EMBRACE, and HEBON. Exposure to diagnostic radiation and risk of breast cancer among carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations: retrospective cohort study (GENE-RAD-RISK). BMJ 2012;345:e5660.
As BRCA1/2 are involved in DNA repair, it has been postulated that carriers may have increased radiosensitivity and increased risk of radiation-induced cancers from diagnostic imaging studies. There are conflicting data from previous studies addressing this.
This study evaluated the risk of breast cancer as a function of ever or never having been exposed to diagnostic levels of radiation prior to age 30 in a retrospective cohort study of 1993 BRCA1/2 carriers, of whom 848 (43%) had a diagnosis of breast cancer at the time of the study. Exposure was determined from self-reported patient surveys and estimated dose levels from procedures determined from available literature. The statistical analysis attempts to compensate …