Currently, women aged less than 50 with triple negative breast cancer, and males with breast cancer, are recommended to undergo genetic testing for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations as these cancers may be associated with an underlying genetic predisposition.
To investigate whether patients at The Northern Hospital diagnosed with cancers that potentially have an underlying genetic cause receive an assessment by a Familial Cancer Centre (FCC) and what the outcomes of these assessments are.
All patients with a new diagnosis of breast cancer from January 2011 to March 2016 at the Northern Hospital were identified. Of these, female patients with triple negative breast cancer aged 50 years or less and male breast cancer patients were selected based on current EVIQ guidelines1, and audited to see whether they were referred to the associated Familial Cancer Centre run by Austin Health. The outcome of the referral was then examined, including whether the patient underwent BRCA testing and what the result was.
From January 2011 to May 2016 at The Northern Hospital, 12 female patients aged 50 years and under were confirmed to have a new diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer, whilst 6 male patients had a new diagnosis of breast cancer. Of the 6 male patients with breast cancer, 4 patients agreed to be referred to the FCC whilst 2 patients refused. None of the 4 male patients assessed by the FCC were found to be BRCA 1 or 2 positive. Further results will be presented at the COSA conference.
Patients with a new diagnosis of breast cancer that meet guidelines for genetics assessment are appropriately referred to the FCC for assessment of BRCA 1 and 2 status.