Gene Doesn't Alter Cancer Survival Rates

Breast cancer triggered by BRCA1 and BRCA2 no more lethal than other forms

By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 12, 2007 5:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – Women who carry one of the two known breast-cancer-causing genes—BRCA1 and BRCA2—are more likely to  be diagnosed with the disease before 50, but they're not more likely to die from it than other breast-cancer patients, a new study concludes. Tracking the 10-year survival rates of women in 22 hospitals in Israel, scientists found no significant difference between those with and without the gene.

Still, carriers of the mutation who did die of breast cancer died sooner: 88% of those with BRCA1 and 77% with BRCA2 died within 5 years, compared to only 68% for non-carriers. Ashkenazi Jewish women have a higher risk of carrying the mutations of these two genes than other groups of women.

Woman performs self-examination.   (
Breast Cancer awareness ribbon on labcoat.   (Index Open)
Professor Charles Stegeman, shown at Haverford College on April 17, 2002, uses artwork to teach students about perception in their practice of medicine and using it to read patients and also tests, su   (KRT Photos)
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