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Evid Based Med doi:10.1136/eb-2012-101075
  • Harm
  • Cohort study

Exposure to diagnostic levels of radiation prior to age 30 increases the risk of breast cancer in BRCA1/2 carriers

  1. Carol Lee2
  1. 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Institute of New Jersey, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Bruce G Haffty
    Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Institute of New Jersey, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 195 Little Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681, USA; hafftybg{at}umdnj.edu

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.

Context

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.

Methods

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 …

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