The management of women who have a genetic predisposition for breast cancer requires careful planning. Women who have BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations are at increased risk for breast cancer and for other cancers as well, particularly ovarian cancer. Screening, prophlyactic surgery, and chemoprevention are commonly utilized strategies in the management of these patients, and women may choose more than one of these strategies. No randomized prospective trials have assessed the impact of these strategies specifically in mutaiton carriers. All patients should be informed that screening, prophylactic surgery, and chemoprevention have the potential for harm as well as benefit.
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