The influential panel of experts says that women with previous breast, ovarian, fallopian-tube or abdominal cancer diagnoses who have completed treatment should be assessed for mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as should women with ancestry more predisposed to those mutations.
The Associated Press: Guidelines Say More Women May Need Breast Cancer Gene Test
More women may benefit from gene testing for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer, especially if they’ve already survived cancer once, an influential health group recommended Tuesday. At issue are genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. When they’re mutated, the body can’t repair damaged DNA as well, greatly increasing the chances of breast, ovarian and certain other cancers. Gene testing allows affected women to consider steps to lower their risk, such as when actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventive mastectomy several years ago. (Neergaard, 8/20)
The Wall Street Journal: More Women May Need Testing For Cancer-Linked Mutated Genes
The task force, a government-backed panel of experts in prevention and medicine, said women with previous breast, ovarian, fallopian-tube or abdominal cancer diagnoses who have completed treatment should be assessed for mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Normally, BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are responsible for repairing damaged DNA, which ultimately helps lessen the chances for certain cancers developing. But when the genes undergo a rare mutation, it can result in further gene mutations that could lead to breast, ovarian and other cancers. (Ansari, 8/20)
The Daily Beast: Feds: Ashkenazi Jews Should Consider Breast Cancer Gene Test
A federal task force is now recommending that people take their ancestry into consideration when deciding whether to get screened for genetic mutations linked to breast cancer—guidance that appears to be aimed at Ashkenazi Jews. Studies have shown that one in 40 Ashkenazi Jews have one of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, compared with one in 300 people in the general population. The recommendation published in the Journal of the American Medical Association does not specify which ancestry should think about getting tested, but the task force is certainly referring to Ashkenazi Jews, who are disproportionately affected by the mutations. (Feder, 8/20)
CNN: More Women Should Be Assessed For BRCA Mutations, New Recommendations Say
Previously, it was recommended for women who have a family history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer to be assessed for harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. That recommendation was last made in 2013 by the US Preventive Services Task Force, a volunteer panel of national experts that makes evidence-based recommendations for the primary care community. (Howard, 8/20)
In more women’s health news —
The New York Times: How Medicine Became The Stealth Family-Friendly Profession
Britni Hebert was chief resident, on track for a career in the highly demanding field of oncology, when she found out she was having twins. “Everything kind of just tilted on its head,” she said. She couldn’t imagine 80-hour workweeks with two newborns at home, while her husband was doing an equally intensive radiology fellowship. But she didn’t leave the profession. Instead, Dr. Hebert, 37, decided to practice internal medicine and geriatrics, with more control over her hours. She has been able to change her schedule three times as her family’s needs have changed (the twins are 6, and the couple has a baby), and now works about 85 percent of full-time hours. (Miller, 8/21)
The New York Times: Recurring Urinary Tract Infections Vex Readers
The rise of drug-resistant urinary tract infections has been particularly burdensome for the significant subset of people who suffer from them on a regular, recurrent basis. These individuals, mostly women, can wind up on a carousel of antibiotics, sometimes the wrong ones, and many experiment with homeopathic alternatives that have not been scientifically validated. (Richtel, 8/20)
The New York Times: Exercise May Boost Mood For Women With Depression. Having A Coach May Help.
For women with serious depression, a single session of exercise can change the body and mind in ways that might help to combat depression over time, according to a new study of workouts and moods. Interestingly, though, the beneficial effects of exercise may depend to a surprising extent on whether someone exercises at her own pace or gets coaching from someone else. (Reynolds, 8/21)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Source : Kaiser Health