The future of breast and ovarian cancer clinics

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7020.1584 (Published 16 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1584
  1. Harry Campbell,
  2. James Mackay,
  3. Mary Porteous
  1. Senior lecturer Department of Public Health Sciences, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh
  2. Senior registrar ICRF Department of Medical Oncology, Western General Hospitals NHS Trust, Edinburgh
  3. Consultant Department of Clinical Genetics, Western General Hospitals NHS Trust, Edinburgh

    No longer just research--now a clinical need

    In a general practitioner's list of 2000 people 40 to 50 will have a first degree relative with cancer, 10 of which relatives will have developed cancer under the age of 50 years. A few of these people will have a strong inherited predisposition to some common cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancer.1 Mutations in the recently identified BRCA1 gene are associated with extremely high lifetime risks of cancer of the breast (87%) and ovaries (44%).2 These mutations account for an estimated 10-30% of all women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 45,3 4 an important group as they contribute a large proportion of the years of life lost to breast cancer

    Individuals should have access to accurate information about their risk, and those at high risk want access to effective screening.5 But our ability to identify women at high risk has come at a time …

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