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Diagnosis at Younger Age Up With Family History of Breast Cancer Before 50 Years

Cumulative incidence equivalent to average 50-year-old with initiating screening five to eight years before diagnosis age

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Women with a first-degree relative diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50 years have an increased risk for diagnosis at a younger age, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in Cancer.

Danielle D. Durham, M.P.H., Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues constructed a cohort of 306,147 women aged 30 to 59 years with information on a first-degree family history of breast cancer. Cumulative five-year breast cancer incidence was compared among women with and without a first-degree family history of breast cancer by the relative’s age at diagnosis and screening age.

The researchers found that about 11 percent of the women reported a first-degree family history of breast cancer, with 3,885 breast cancer cases identified. Similar five-year cumulative incidences of breast cancer were seen for women reporting a relative diagnosed between 40 and 49 years and undergoing screening between ages 30 and 39 or 40 and 49 years and those without a family history undergoing screening between age 50 to 59 years (18.6, 18.4, and 18.0/1,000, respectively). Initiating screening five to eight years before age of diagnosis yielded a five-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer of 15.2/1,000, that of an average 50-year-old woman, for a relative’s diagnosis age from 35 to 45 years.

“Our findings suggest women with a relative diagnosed at or before age 45 may consider initiating screening five to eight years earlier than their relative’s diagnosis age if they wish to initiate screening when their five-year absolute risk is equivalent to that of an average risk 50-year-old woman,” the authors write.

One author has received book royalties from Elsevier; a second author disclosed financial ties to GRAIL, a biotechnology company.

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