Journal article

Why are the majority of hereditary cases of early-onset breast cancer sporadic? A simulation study.

J Cui, JL Hopper

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev | Published : 2000


Population-based studies, including those of Ashkenazi Jews, have observed that at least 50% of women with early-onset breast cancer who carry a germ line mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 do not report a family history of the disease. That is, the majority of "hereditary" cases are "sporadic." Furthermore, the great majority of "familial breast cancers" are not hereditary. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the probability that a woman with early-onset breast cancer is a mutation carrier, given the number of affected relatives, for a range of plausible values of allele frequency (0.001-0.01), and increased risk in mutation carriers (5-20, equivalent to cumulative risks to age 70 of 25-70%..

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