Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 3232–3238 | Cite as

Impact that Timing of Genetic Mutation Diagnosis has on Surgical Decision Making and Outcome for BRCA1/BRCA2 Mutation Carriers with Breast Cancer

  • Akiko Chiba
  • Tanya L. Hoskin
  • Emily J. Hallberg
  • Jodie A. Cogswell
  • Courtney N. Heins
  • Fergus J. Couch
  • Judy C. Boughey
Breast Oncology



Deleterious BRCA mutation carriers with breast cancer are at increased risk for additional breast cancer events. This study evaluated the impact that timing of identification of BRCA+ status has on surgical decision and outcome.


The authors reviewed all BRCA carriers at their institution whose breast cancer was diagnosed between January 1996 and June 2015. Patient surveys, medical records, and institutional databases were used to collect data. Differences in surgical choice were analyzed using the chi-square test, and rates of subsequent breast cancer events were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method.


The study investigated 173 BRCA carriers with breast cancer (100 BRCA1, 73 BRCA2). Of the women with known BRCA mutation before surgery and unilateral stages 0 to 3 breast cancer (n = 63), 12.7 % underwent lumpectomy, 4.8 % underwent unilateral mastectomy (UM), and 82.5 % underwent bilateral mastectomy (BM). These surgical choices differed significantly (p < 0.0001) from those of patients unaware of their mutation at the time of surgery (n = 93) (51.6 % had lumpectomy, 19.4 % had UM, 29 % had BM). Of the patients with BRCA mutation identified after surgery who underwent lumpectomy or UM, 36 (59 %) of 66 underwent delayed BM. The patients with BRCA+ known before diagnosis presented with significantly lower-stage disease (p = 0.02) at diagnosis (69 % stage 0 or 1) than those whose BRCA mutation was identified after cancer diagnosis (40 % stage 0 or 1).


The study findings showed that BRCA mutation status influences surgical decision. The rates of BM were higher for the patients with BRCA mutation known before surgery. Identification of BRCA mutation after surgery frequently leads to subsequent breast surgery. Genetic testing before surgery is important for patients at elevated risk for BRCA mutation.


Breast Cancer Mutation Carrier BRCA Mutation Contralateral Breast Cancer BRCA Mutation Carrier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported in part by a generous gift from the David F. and Margaret T. Grohne Family Foundation, an NCI Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Breast Cancer (CA116201), NIH Grants (CA116167 and CA192393), and a grant from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akiko Chiba
    • 1
  • Tanya L. Hoskin
    • 2
  • Emily J. Hallberg
    • 2
  • Jodie A. Cogswell
    • 2
  • Courtney N. Heins
    • 2
  • Fergus J. Couch
    • 3
  • Judy C. Boughey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Sciences ResearchMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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