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Breast Cancer Risk in Men With BRCA2 Mutation Quantified

Male carriers of the faulty gene have one in 15 chance of developing breast cancer by age 70

WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Men with a BRCA2 genetic mutation have a 7.1 percent chance of developing breast cancer by the time they turn 70, and an 8.4 percent chance by the time they turn 80, according to research published online June 28 in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

D. Gareth R. Evans, M.D., of St. Mary's Hospital in Manchester, U.K., and colleagues examined data on men in 321 families with BRCA2 mutations to determine the risk of breast cancer in men who test positive for the mutation.

The researchers found that 20 men among those 321 families developed breast cancer between 29 and 79 years of age. There were 905 first-degree male relatives of known BRCA2 carriers, of whom 16 (2 percent) developed cancer. There were also eight cases of cancer in second-degree relatives, two of whom carried the genetic mutation. The investigators determined that the risk of developing breast cancer for men with the genetic mutation was 7.1 percent by age 70 and 8.4 percent by age 80.

"These risks are sufficient to increase awareness of breast cancer among men in BRCA2 families and to stress the importance of early presentation with breast symptoms," the authors write.

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