It is also approved in the USA for advanced ovarian cancer patients who have received at least three prior lines of chemo and maintenance treatment of ovarian cancer in patients who are in complete or partial response to platinum-based chemo, both BRCA-positive.
About 97 percent of women survived for more than two years after their diagnosis, while more than 83 percent and more than 70 percent survived for five and 10 years post-diagnosis, respectively.
Twelve per cent of the women had a BRCA mutation. About 45 percent of women with faulty BRCA2 genes will.
Faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are inherited and these mutations place women at a greater risk of breast and some ovarian cancers. "Understanding prognosis in young patients is important because patients with BRCA mutations are at increased risk of developing specific conditions, such as secondary cancers, including ovarian cancer, contralateral breast cancer, and de novo breast cancer in the same breast". This surgery did not appear to improve their chances of survival at the 10-year mark, according to the findings published in The Lancet Oncology. Jolie surgically removed and reconstructed her breasts as a preventive measure after learning her BRCA status.
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PALB2 - Works similarly to the BRCA genes. This action prevents DNA inside BRCA-mutated cancer cells from being repaired, which can stop tumor growth.
Angelina Jolie had a preventative mastectomy, before she developed cancer.
Fiona MacNeill, of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, who was not involved in the research, said: "This study can reassure young women with breast cancer, particularly those with triple negative cancer or who are BRCA carriers, that breast conservation with radiotherapy is a safe option in the first decade after diagnosis and double mastectomy is not essential or mandatory at initial treatment". It means that they can take time to discuss whether radical breast surgery is the right choice for them as part of a longer-term risk-reducing strategy.
"Decisions about timing of additional surgery aimed at reducing future second primary-cancer risks should take into account patient prognosis associated with the first malignancy and patient preferences", the authors write.
The researchers say that in the future this information could help women and their doctors make informed choices about treatment.
Eccles and her colleagues noted that the findings might not apply to older breast cancer patients with a BRCA mutation.