BRCA mutation carriers have an increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. Oral contraception (OC) is known to increase breast cancer and reduce ovarian cancer risk in the general population. This review analyses the published data on OC and risk of cancer in BRCA mutation carriers.
We included all relevant articles published in English from 1995 to 2018. Literature was identified through a search on PubMed and Cochrane Library.
We included four meta-analyses, one review, one case–control study and one retrospective cohort study on the association between ovarian cancer and OC in BRCA mutation carriers. All report a risk reduction for the OC users and several also describe an inverse correlation with duration of use. Regarding breast cancer, we included four meta-analyses, one review, one case–control study, two case-only studies, one prospective and one retrospective cohort study. Some studies report a risk elevation, while others did not find an association between OC use and breast cancer in BRCA mutation carriers. In other studies, the association was limited to early-onset breast cancer and/or associated with young age at first start of OC.
Oral contraception leads to a risk reduction of ovarian cancer also in BRCA mutation carriers. An increase in breast cancer risk due to OC cannot be excluded. Women with BRCA mutation who consider OC use have to be informed about possible increase in breast cancer risk and alternative contraceptive methods. OC should not be used for the prevention of ovarian cancer in this population.
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Huber, D., Seitz, S., Kast, K. et al. Use of oral contraceptives in BRCA mutation carriers and risk for ovarian and breast cancer: a systematic review. Arch Gynecol Obstet 301, 875–884 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-020-05458-w
- Oral contraception
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer