What is the BRCAPRO breast cancer risk assessment tool?

Updated: Dec 16, 2019
  • Author: Jessica Katz, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Marie Catherine Lee, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

BRCAPRO calculates a person’s probability of carrying a deleterious mutation of BRCA1, BRCA2, or both on the basis of the person's cancer status and the history of breast and ovarian cancer in first- and second-degree relatives. BRCAPRO is especially accurate in predicting testing results when the probability of the woman being a carrier of a deleterious mutation is less than 70%. [52]

BRCAPRO results can help patients decide whether to undergo genetic testing. Testing is generally most useful for women whose BRCAPRO results indicate that they have intermediate probability of being a BRCA carrier. If BRCAPRO results indicate that the patient's probability of being a carrier is very low, genetic testing will almost certainly yield negative results. [52] For patients with a very high pretest probability of BRCA carriage, genetic testing results can help guide screening of other family members.

Before using BRCAPRO, the clinician should determine whether the patient is prepared to make decisions on the basis of her level of risk. If she is not prepared to make lifestyle or healthcare changes to reduce moderate risk, or perhaps consider prophylactic surgery for extremely high risk, then the information provided by BRCAPRO has no value. [52]


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