Oophorectomy and risk of contralateral breast cancer among BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers

the Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinical Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Following a diagnosis of breast cancer, BRCA mutation carriers face an increased risk of developing a second (contralateral) cancer in the unaffected breast. It is important to identify predictors of contralateral cancer in order to make informed decisions about bilateral mastectomy. The impact of bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (i.e., oophorectomy) on the risk of developing contralateral breast cancer is unclear. Thus, we conducted a prospective study of the relationship between oophorectomy and the risk of contralateral breast cancer in 1781 BRCA1 and 503 BRCA2 mutation carriers with breast cancer. Methods: Women were followed from the date of diagnosis of their first breast cancer until the date of diagnosis of a contralateral breast cancer, bilateral mastectomy, date of death, or date of last follow-up. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of contralateral breast cancer associated with oophorectomy. Oophorectomy was included as a time-dependent covariate. We performed a left-censored analysis for those women who reported a primary breast cancer prior to study entry (i.e., from completion of baseline questionnaire). Results: After an average of 9.8 years of follow-up, there were 179 (7.8%) contralateral breast cancers diagnosed. Oophorectomy was not associated with the risk of developing a second breast cancer (HR 0.92; 95% CI 0.68–1.25). The relationship did not vary by BRCA mutation type or by age at diagnosis of the first breast cancer. There was some evidence for a decreased risk of contralateral breast cancer among women with an ER-positive primary breast cancer, but this was based on a small number of events (n = 240). Conclusion: Overall, our findings suggest that oophorectomy has little impact on the risk of contralateral breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-449
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019


  • BRCA1/2
  • Contralateral breast cancer
  • Oophorectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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