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FORCE's eXamining the Relevance of Articles for You (XRAY) program looks behind the headlines of cancer news to help you understand what the research means for you. XRAY is a reliable source of hereditary cancer research-related news and information.
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1 through 10 of 10

Relevance: Medium-High

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Article : Breast cancer risk for transgender men with inherited mutations

Most relevant for: Transgender men with an inherited mutation

There is little information related to the risks and treatment options for transgender men and nonbinary people who are at high-risk for breast cancer due to an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. We review an expert viewpoint on the implications of a BRCA mutation for transgender men undergoing breast removal as part of their gender-affirming care plan. (posted 5/19/22)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: Medium-High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Patient outcomes and experiences of going flat

Most relevant for: Women considering mastectomy without breast reconstruction.

Some patients with early-stage breast cancer or those considering risk-reducing surgery may choose mastectomy without reconstruction. This is often referred to as “going flat.” The results of this study suggest that surgeons play a significant role in supporting a patient’s decision to go flat. (3/23/2021)

Este artículo está disponible en español.

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Relevance: High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Guideline : FDA asks Allergan to recall certain textured breast implants

Most relevant for: Women with, or considering breast reconstruction with implants

On July 25, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration requested that breast implant manufacturer Allergan recall its BIOCELL textured implants and expanders due to an association with a rare type of lymphoma called Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or BIA-ALCL. The FDA does not recommend removing implants for people who do not have disease symptoms. This XRAYS review updates information about this FDA recall. (7/29/19)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Quality of Writing: Medium-High

Personal Story : A young woman's story of genetic testing and risk-reducing mastectomy

Most relevant for: Young women of color with a BRCA mutation

Alejandra Campoverdi comes from a family with three generations of breast cancer. As a former White House aide and active educator in the Latina community, she has openly shared her story of genetic testing, her BRCA2 mutation and her plans for risk-reducing mastectomy at age 39. (6/6/19)

Este artículo está disponible en español.

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Relevance: Medium-Low

Strength of Science: Low

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Breast cancer implant study suggests links with illness but has serious flaws

Most relevant for: Women with or considering breast implant reconstruction

THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN UPDATED: In October 2021, the FDA issued guidance for people with breast implants Read our latest review on this topic.  

An article in the Annals of Surgery, researchers conclude that their work supports an association between silicone breast implants and a range of conditions. This journal article was accompanied by two editorials in which experts voiced their disagreement with the way the analysis was performed and the conclusions of the authors. (2/21/19)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Hormone therapy and breast cancer risk after ovary removal in women with a BRCA1 mutation

Most relevant for: Women with BRCA1 mutations who have had risk-reducing ovary removal and have never been diagnosed with breast cancer

Does hormone therapy (HT) alter the risk of breast cancer for woman carrying a BRCA1 mutation who have never been diagnosed with cancer? In this study, researchers showed that among women with BRCA1 mutations, HT use did not increase breast cancer rates for 10 years after ovary removal. More women taking combined estrogen plus progesterone developed breast cancer compared to those taking estrogen only, though this difference was not statistically significant. (9/7/18)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : FDA updates report on risk of lymphoma from breast implants

Most relevant for: Women who currently have textured implants or expanders or who have had them in the past

Note: On 07/25/19, the FDA announced a recall of Allergan BIOCELL textured implants and expanders, due to their association with BIA-ALCL. On October 27, 2021 the FDA announced stronger guidance on breast implant safety.

In March 2017, the Food and Drug Administration reported that patients with breast implants may be at increased risk for a rare type of lymphoma. This was covered in a previous XRAYS review. The FDA has continued to collect data since the first reported association in 2011. Recently, the agency released an update on the number of reported cases of breast implant-associated lymphoma and lifetime risk estimates for women with textured breast implants. (04/02/18)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Strength of Science: Medium-High

Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : What is the risk of breast cancer recurrence after nipple-sparing mastectomy?

Most relevant for: Breast cancer patients who are considering or have had a nipple sparing mastectomy

Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) offers better cosmetic results for women who have immediate breast reconstruction (at the same time as their mastectomy). Over the past decade, NSM has gained popularity among surgeons and patients. Studies show that women who keep their own nipples have higher rates of satisfaction and psychological well-being after mastectomy and reconstruction compared to women who lose their nipples. However, little data exists on the long-term risk of recurrence following NSM. New research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that risk of recurrence is low after NSM in carefully selected patients with breast cancer. (1/25/18)

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Relevance: Medium-High

Quality of Writing: Medium-High

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Article : After mastectomy: reconstruct or not?

Most relevant for: Woman who are facing mastectomy

Today, more women know they can have breast reconstruction after removing their breasts for cancer treatment or risk reduction. But what about choosing not to undergo reconstruction? Roni Caryn Rabin writes about the experiences of women who decide against reconstruction in her New York Times piece “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer.” (12/14/16)

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Relevance: Medium

Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Study : Removing ovaries before age 50 may increase the risk of chronic conditions for some women

Most relevant for: Women under 50 years of age who have had or are considering removing their ovaries

Removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes prevents ovarian cancer, but it may come with other health risks. Experts recommend removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes in women at high risk for ovarian cancer due to inherited mutations in BRCA or other genes linked to ovarian cancer risk. For these high-risk women the benefit of ovarian cancer prevention outweighs the risk of long-term complications. Based on a recent study, some researchers feel that for women who are not at increased risk for cancer, the risk for some chronic conditions is too high to consider removal of both ovaries. (11/1/16)

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