Improved overall survival after contralateral risk-reducing mastectomy in brca1/2 mutation carriers with a history of unilateral breast cancer: A prospective analysis

Bernadette A. M. Heemskerk-Gerritsen, Matti A. Rookus, Cora M. Aalfs, Margreet G. E. M. Ausems, Johanna M. Collee, Liesbeth Jansen, C. Marleen Kets, Kristien B. M. I. Keymeulen, Linetta B. Koppert, Hanne E. J. Meijers-Heijboer, Thea M. Mooij, Rob A. E. M. Tollenaar, Hans F. A. Vasen, Maartje J. Hooning, Caroline Seynaeve*, HEBON

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Data on survival of BRCA1/2-associated primary breast cancer (PBC) patients who opt for subsequent contralateral risk-reducing mastectomy (CRRM) are scarce and inconsistent. We examined the efficacy of CRRM on overall survival in mutation carriers with a history of PBC. From a Dutch multicentre cohort, we selected 583 BRCA-associated PBC patients, being diagnosed between 1980 and 2011. Over time, 242 patients (42%) underwent CRRM and 341 patients (58%) remained under surveillance. Survival analyses were performed using Cox models, with CRRM as a time-dependent covariate. The median follow-up after PBC diagnosis was 11.4 years. In the CRRM group, four patients developed contralateral breast cancer (2%), against 64 patients (19%) in the surveillance group (p

What's new? When diagnosed with breast cancer, women naturally worry about tumors forming in the other breast as well. Sometimes, they elect to have both breasts removed, even though cancer has been detected only in one. But does the procedure have any protective effect? For certain groups, yes. In this paper, the authors collected data on the survival of several hundred patients with BRCA1/2-associated breast cancer. Removing the non-affected breast did improve survival in BRCA1/2 carriers with a history of primary breast cancer, particularly those under age 40. These findings will help doctors provide more personalized counselling and guidance regarding these decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-677
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15-Feb-2015


  • BRCA1
  • 2
  • breast cancer
  • prevention
  • contralateral risk-reducing mastectomy
  • survival

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