Background: Whether oophorectomy reduces breast cancer risk among BRCA mutation carriers is a matter of debate. We undertook a prospective analysis of bilateral oophorectomy and breast cancer risk in BRCA mutation carriers.

Methods: Subjects had no history of cancer, had both breasts intact, and had information on oophorectomy status (n = 3722). Women were followed until breast cancer diagnosis, prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, or death. A Cox regression model was used to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of breast cancer associated with oophorectomy (coded as a time-dependent variable). All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: Over a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, 350 new breast cancers were diagnosed. Among women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, oophorectomy was not associated with breast cancer risk compared with women who did not undergo an oophorectomy. The age-adjusted hazard ratio associated with oophorectomy was 0.96 (95% CI = 0.73 to 1.26, P = .76) for BRCA1 and was 0.65 (95% CI = 0.37 to 1.16, P = .14) for BRCA2 mutation carriers. In stratified analyses, the effect of oophorectomy was statistically significant for breast cancer in BRCA2 mutation carriers diagnosed prior to age 50 years (age-adjusted HR = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.05 to 0.63, P = .007). Oophorectomy was not associated with risk of breast cancer prior to age 50 years among BRCA1 mutation carriers (age-adjusted HR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.55 to 1.13, P = .51).

Conclusions: Findings from this large prospective study support a role of oophorectomy for the prevention of premenopausal breast cancer in BRCA2, but not BRCA1 mutation carriers. These findings warrant further evaluation.

You do not currently have access to this article.