The association between breast cancer risk and the number of pregnancies and between breast cancer risk and the duration of breast feeding differed among women with and without the BRCA2 mutation. The present study does not allow for differentiating between effect modification by mutation status on the one hand and inherited differences with respect to fertility or problems with breast feeding due to presence of the mutation on the other. Further studies are needed both on fertility and potential problems with breast feeding in unaffected mutation carriers, and on the effects of hormones related to pregnancy and breast feeding with respect to signalling and differentiation in breast epithelial cells of mutation carriers. In the context of current knowledge, however, the results are supportive of a hypothesis stating that the product of the BRCA2 gene has a function relating to the differentiation of epithelial tissue in the breast in response to the hormones of pregnancy.
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The authors also thank the Icelandic Cancer Society for financial support, the staff of the Cancer Detection Clinic, Gudridur H Olafsdottir, Dr Helga M Ogmundsdottir, Dr Thorvaldur Jonsson, The Icelandic Breast Cancer Group and Iceland Genomics Corporation for other practical support, and Sigrun Stefansdottir, Hafdis Hafsteinsdottir and Holmfridur Hilmarsdottir for recruitment, sample collection and technical work. The authors also thank three anonymous reviewers for important comments and suggestions on a draft of this paper, and last but not least all the women who contributed information to this study.Funding information
This work was supported by grants from the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (DAMD17-97-1-7002 and DAMD17-99-1-9216).
CDC = Cancer Detection Clinic; PCR = polymerase chain reaction.
Laufey Tryggvadóttir, Icelandic Cancer Registry, Skógarhlíd 8, P.O. Box 5420, IS-125 Reykjavík, Iceland. Tel: +354 540 1900; fax: +354 540 1910; e-mail email@example.com
Breast Cancer Res. 2003;5(5) © 2003 BioMed Central, Ltd.
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Cite this: BRCA2 Mutation Carriers, Reproductive Factors and Breast Cancer Risk - Medscape - Jul 01, 2003.