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Individuals carrying pathogenic BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have an increased lifetime risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer. The incidence of breast cancer amongst disease-free BRCA mutation carriers under surveillance and the clinical and pathological characteristics of those who subsequently develop the disease remain unclear in Japan. We reviewed the records of 155 individuals with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations identified by genetic testing between January 2000 and December 2016. At the time of genetic testing, 26 individuals with one of these mutations had no history of breast cancer and were therefore enrolled in a surveillance program that included biannual ultrasonography, clinical breast examination, annual mammography, and conditional magnetic resonance imaging for the early detection of primary breast cancer. During the surveillance period, 5 individuals with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations were diagnosed with primary breast cancer. The mean surveillance duration until breast cancer diagnosis was 48 months. The incidence of primary breast cancer during surveillance in initially disease-free BRCA mutation carriers was 4.23%/year. In two cases, the tumors were only detectable on MRI. The case 5 patient who presented with a tumor that was detected by self-examination, which then grew rapidly, had stage IIB triple-negative breast cancer. In conclusion, our results show that some challenges exist in the early detection of breast cancers in BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers. There are also some difficulties in approaching those individuals in Japanese society.
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- Five screening-detected breast cancer cases in initially disease-free BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers
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