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FORCE's eXaming 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 20

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Study : Women support delayed removal of ovaries

Most relevant for: Women at high risk of ovarian cancer who are considering undergoing risk-reducing surgery.

Risk-reducing early removal of fallopian tubes followed by removal of ovaries at a later date was acceptable to women at high risk of ovarian cancer due to an inherited mutation in a recent study.  This was especially true for women worried about sexual dysfunction associated with surgical menopause. (12/24/20)

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Women support delayed removal of ovaries

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Study : Cancer risk associated with inherited mutations in Lynch syndrome genes

Most relevant for: People with Lynch syndrome mutations

Lynch syndrome is the most common inherited cause of cancer affecting about 1 in 300 people. People with Lynch syndrome have an increased risk of colorectal endometrial and other cancers. A large study followed people with mutations in the Lynch syndrome genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2 to determine the risk of other types of cancer. (2/21/20)

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Cancer risk associated with inherited mutations in Lynch syndrome genes

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Prevalence of BRCA founder mutations in Bahamian women

Most relevant for: Bahamanian women

Summary:

The Bahamas has the highest known frequency of BRCA mutations among people diagnosed with breast cancer. This study reviewed whether population-based BRCA testing (testing everyone regardless of family or personal history of cancer) would be an effective approach for finding mutation carriers in the Bahamas. (3/4/19)

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Prevalence of BRCA founder mutations in Bahamian women

Relevance: High

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Strength of Science: High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Can population-based DNA sequencing find more people at risk for hereditary cancers?

Most relevant for: Women over age 30

It is well documented that many BRCA mutation carriers are missed using current family history-based screening approaches. As a result, experts are beginning to call for population-based BRCA genetic testing—an organized effort to screen all women like we do for breast and cervical cancer.  A recent study looked at whether a population-based genetic testing approach would better identify mutation carriers compared with current practice. (11/17/18)

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Can population-based DNA sequencing find more people at risk for hereditary cancers?

Relevance: Medium-Low

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Strength of Science: Medium

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Study : A new method for determining whether genetic variants in BRCA1 increase cancer risk

Most relevant for: People who have a Variant of Uncertain Significance in a gene associated with cancer risk.

Ever since BRCA1 was discovered, researchers have been trying to understand which of the thousands of possible DNA changes in this gene increase cancer risk and which are harmless changes.  A new study in Nature reports how a cutting-edge technology called “genome editing” may be used to classify changes—known as variants of uncertain significance-in BRCA1 as harmful or harmless. Once validated, this same technology may be used to classify variants in other genes. (9/29/18)

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A new method for determining whether genetic variants in BRCA1 increase cancer risk

Relevance: Medium-High

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Quality of Writing: Medium-High

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Article : Cancer experience in families affects decision making

Most relevant for: Women with an inherited mutation linked to increased risk for cancer

Women with inherited mutations in genes that increase breast and ovarian cancer risk have an additional challenge: coping with how those mutations impact their families and how a family member’s cancer experience can shape their own perception. In a recent U.S. News and World Report article, Elaine Howley explores how a woman's decisions about healthcare, cancer prevention and treatment are affected by experience with cancer in the family. (9/25/18)

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Cancer experience in families affects decision making

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: High

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

Relevance: Medium

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Strength of Science: Medium

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Study : Evaluation of some direct-to-consumer genetic testing reveals inaccuracies and misinterpretations

Most relevant for: People who are considering or have had direct-to-consumer testing

A clinical genetic testing laboratory examined results from direct-to-consumer genetic testing ordered directly by patients. They found many instances of false positives—reported mutations that were not actually present—and in some cases, reports of variants that "increased risk," but were actually benign. This study emphasized the importance of involving genetics experts in the interpretation of genetic test results. (6/28/18)

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Evaluation of some direct-to-consumer genetic testing reveals inaccuracies and misinterpretations

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Study : Mutations in Lynch syndrome genes MSH6 and PMS2 may be associated with breast cancer

Most relevant for: Women with an MSH6 or PMS2 mutation

Some women with mutations in MSH6 and PMS2, two Lynch syndrome genes, may have a modest (2 to 3-fold) increased risk for breast cancer. (6/14/18 updated 09/25/19)

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Mutations in Lynch syndrome genes MSH6 and PMS2 may be associated with breast cancer

Relevance: High

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Quality of Writing: High

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Article : The right not to know when not knowing is dangerous

Most relevant for: People with Icelandic heritage

Healthcare providers are bound by the guiding principle of doing no harm. But how does this concept apply to their patients who have not consented to genetic testing or who do not want to know their results? In that case, is providing test results more harmful or not? Anna Clausen explores these issues in the context of breast cancer gene testing in her Global Health Now article “The Right Not to Know: When Ignorance is Bliss but Deadly.” (4/20/18)

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The right not to know when not knowing is dangerous