Is the risk of breast cancer increased due to ovarian cancer?

Last Modified: November 11, 2002

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My wife is an ovarian survivor. She finished chemo three years ago and we have been told she should live a long life. She is now Undergoing tests for Breast cancer. Is the risk of breast cancer increased due to ovarian cancer? 

Answer

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

While having a history of ovarian cancer is in itself not usually a risk factor for the development of breast cancer, ovarian cancer that is the result of certain genetic mutations (such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes) may result in an increased risk for breast cancer. Certain patients with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer may be at risk for carrying mutations in these genes.