611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

member support line
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...

Women's Health
Basic InformationLatest News
Exercise Might Make Breast Milk's Goodness Even BetterPreterm Birth Ups Mom's Long-Term Heart Disease Risk: StudyAffection, at Least for Women, May Be Rooted in GenesHormones May Explain Greater Prevalence of Alzheimer's in WomenCoronavirus Delivering a Big Economic Blow to WomenAHA News: Persistent Depression Might Increase Heart Disease Risk for Women With HIVStatins Tied to Significantly Lower Death Rate From Ovarian CancerPandemic Affecting Mental Health of Pregnant Women, New MomsClimate Change, Smog Could Mean More Preemie Babies: StudyFemale Athletes Shortchange Themselves on NutritionWomen Still Left Out of Much Medical ResearchAHA News: Pregnant Women With Heart Defects Don't Always Get This Recommended TestNot a Myth -- Contraceptives Can Cause Weight GainMeds Like Valium, Xanax Linked to Higher Risk of Ectopic PregnancyAt-Home Gene Test for Breast, Ovarian Cancers Looks EffectivePlacenta's Hidden Mysteries Revealed in MRI StudyLost Pregnancies, Diabetes May Be LinkedWomen Less Likely to Get Standard Heart MedicationsGood News for Menopausal Women Who Take HopsBlack and White Women Share the Same Genetic Risk for Breast Cancer'Good Bacteria' Might Help Fight a Common Gynecologic InfectionMore Evidence Sugary Drinks Harm Women's HeartsAHA News: Prenatal Supplement May Increase Blood Pressure at High DosesMammograms Do Save Women's Lives, Study FindsBreastfeeding May Help Guard Against DiabetesAHA News: How Pregnant Woman's High Blood Pressure Can Change Shape of Baby's HeartMenopause May Someday Disappear as Women Postpone Pregnancy: StudyRural Women at Higher Risk of Early Death From Heart DiseaseEven During Pandemic, Childbirth Safest in Hospital, Doctors' Group SaysDo C-Section Babies Become Heavier Adults?High-Fiber Diets May Lower Odds for Breast CancerWomen in Their 50s Can Lower Their Stroke Risk – Here's HowMental Health Problems After First Baby Reduce Likelihood of More Children: StudyWhen Arteries Narrow, Chest Pain Can Come Earlier for Women Than MenRacial, Ethnic Gaps in Insurance Put Moms, Babies at Risk: StudyStatins Might Reduce Harms From Breast Cancer ChemoExpectant Moms: Take Care and Don't Panic About CoronavirusGene Tests May Guard Older Breast Cancer Patients Against Other TumorsAHA News: Changing the Way We View Women's Heart Attack SymptomsMaria Shriver Sounds the Alarm on Women and Alzheimer'sAHA News: Estrogen Therapy in Early Menopause May Help Keep Arteries ClearDon't Wait, for Your Baby's Sake: Quit Smoking Before You're PregnantFemale Firefighters Face Higher Exposure to CarcinogensNew Moms Need to Watch Out for High Blood PressureBad Sleep, Bad Diet = Bad Heart?A Woman's Guide to Skin Care During and After MenopauseAHA News: What Women Need to Know About Breast Cancer and Heart DiseaseIs High Blood Pressure in First Pregnancy a Harbinger of Heart Trouble?AHA News: Domestic Abuse May Do Long-Term Damage to Women's Health'Couch Potato' Lifestyle Poses Danger to Women's Hearts
Questions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Medical Disorders
Wellness and Personal Development
Mental Disorders

Gene Tests May Guard Older Breast Cancer Patients Against Other Tumors

HealthDay News
by By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 10th 2020

new article illustration

TUESDAY, March 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A significant number of older women with breast cancer may have genetic mutations that put them at risk of additional cancers, particularly ovarian cancer, a new study finds.

The researchers said that as many as one in 40 postmenopausal women with breast cancer before age 65 has a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

Currently, the guidelines emphasize genetic testing in women who have a strong family history of these mutations. A well-publicized risk group is women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. These women face about a 2.5% increased risk of having these mutations, study author Dr. Allison Kurian said.

"Most women survive breast cancer, and a healthy woman may live quite a while after breast cancer treatment. Could this person get breast cancer again? What about ovarian cancer? I think this risk should be discussed with them," Kurian said. She's an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and population health at Stanford University, in California.

"We found the likelihood of carrying a BRCA mutation was about 2.5% in postmenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer when they were under 65," she noted. When the investigators included older women diagnosed with breast cancer, there was a 3.5% risk of a BRCA or other mutation in the group.

Funding was provided by Myriad Genetics, the Suzanne Pride Bryan Fund for Breast Cancer Research, the Jan Weimer Faculty Chair in Breast Oncology, and the BRCA Foundation. Myriad Genetics makes the genetic tests.

Kurian said in addition to family history, doctors often take age into account when deciding whether or not to suggest genetic testing.

The study included previously collected data on nearly 162,000 women between 1993 and 1998. The women were aged 50 to 79, and were from all over the United States.

From that larger group of women, the researchers compared nearly 2,200 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer to just over 2,300 women without the disease. The average age of women with a breast cancer diagnosis was 73.

In the whole breast cancer group, the researchers found a 3.5% genetic mutation rate. Just 1.3% of women without breast cancer had the genetic mutations, the findings showed.

Only about one-third of the women who had breast cancer and were found to have BRCA mutations had been recommended for genetic testing. In the women without cancer, but who had a BRCA mutation, only one in five had been recommended by their doctor for genetic testing.

Robert Smith, the senior vice president for cancer screening at the American Cancer Society, said this was an interesting study that suggests there may be value in testing this older group of women who've already had breast cancer.

"The guideline-developing groups will look at this information to help inform their recommendations. This study will have to be put into context with other studies, but this data suggests this [genetic testing in postmenopausal women with breast cancer] is something to consider," Smith said.

Kurian said the test isn't expensive. She said the usual out-of-pocket cost for someone with insurance is about $100. For women without insurance, she said the cost is about $250 or less.

The study was published March 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

Learn more about genetic testing for breast cancer risk from the American Cancer Society.