Expert review of anticancer therapy 2017 09 08() 1-12 doi 10.1080/14737140.2017.1374175
Mutations in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are responsible for approximately 42,000 cases of breast cancer annually. Identifying these germline mutations in a woman with breast cancer is important because it can influence her immediate and long-term management and has important implications for other family members. Areas covered: This review highlights how treatment-focussed genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations can potentially influence cancer treatment and secondary prevention decisions in women with breast cancer. Expert commentary: Testing women with breast cancer for BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutations has the potential to decrease cancer burden and improve cancer outcomes. It can help optimise surgical and systemic therapy approaches. Clinicians should actively consider whether genetic testing is appropriate for each woman with breast cancer, and if so should instigate it early in the treatment trajectory when it can most influence cancer care.