In Addition to Breast, Ovarian Cancers, BRCA Mutations May Increase Risk of Salivary Gland Cancers

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According to new findings published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio, have found that mutations with the genes breast cancer 1 and 2, early onset (BRCA1 and BRCA2) may increase a person's risk for developing salivary gland cancer.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from a large BRCA mutation database to identify patients with salivary gland cancers. Of 5,754 people with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, three (0.052%) had salivary gland cancer, suggesting that the disease is 17 times more likely to occur in people with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations compared with those in the general population.

According to the American Cancer Society, salivary gland cancers make up less than 1% of cancers in the United States, occurring in approximately 1 in 100,000 Americans per year.

It is widely known that women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations are at an increased risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer, and men with the mutations are at an increased risk for developing breast cancer. This study suggests that patients with BRCA mutations may require surveillance for salivary gland cancers in addition to other types of cancer.

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Mutations with the genes breast cancer 1 and 2 may increase risk for developing salivary gland cancer.

The risk of developing cancer in a salivary gland might be higher in people with mutations in either of two genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, according to a new study by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

Although salivary gland cancer is rare, this retrospective study suggests it occurs 17 times more often in people with inherited mutations in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2, than those in the general population.

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