Skip to Content

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome (HBOC)


Introductory video transcript:
English | Español

Course Overview

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome (HBOC) is an inherited tendency to develop breast, ovarian, and other cancers, and at a younger age than usual. The majority of HBOC is due to a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

Women with an inherited gene mutation have a 40 to 87% chance of developing breast cancer, compared to 12% of women in the general population. Women with a BRCA gene mutation also have a 10 to 44% chance of developing ovarian cancer. Men with a BRCA gene mutation are at a higher risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.

Men and women with a genetic BRCA mutation and their family members have a unique set of medical needs. We would like to partner with you to provide the best possible care for this patient population.

The goal of the “Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome Course” is to help healthcare professionals understand the causes of HBOC, the chances of inheriting it, the importance of diagnosing it, how to diagnose it, how to manage it, and ethical legal issues and psychosocial issues related to it. A core component of this course includes advice on gathering family histories. Additional lectures discuss fertility and pregnancy issues.

     Course Overview: Español

 


Support for this course was provided by a generous grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) PP100136


Lectures

Amanda Brandt, MS, CGC
Identification of High-risk Patients   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Amanda C. Brandt, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
 

Summary: Most cancers are not inherited. However, about 10% of breast and ovarian cancers result from a genetic mutation. In her lecture, “Identification of High-risk Patients,” Amanda Brandt, a certified genetic counselor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, talks about the importance of family cancer history, differentiates between hereditary and sporadic cancer, and discusses BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and their associated cancer risks. Ms. Brandt also reviews current clinical guidelines for BRCA testing and suggests ways for identifying appropriate genetic testing candidates.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español

Kaylene J. Ready, MS, CGC
Overview of Genetic Testing   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Kaylene J. Ready, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
 

Summary: Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation are being diagnosed with cancer earlier than their moms or aunts, almost an average, eight years earlier than their relatives of the previous generation. Collecting family cancer histories and conducting genetic testing play a key role identifying women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. In her lecture, “HBOC: Overview of Genetic Testing,” Kaylene Ready, a certified genetic counselor, describes the clinical applications and limitations of the models used to estimate the likelihood of a BRCA mutation. Ms. Ready differentiates the types of BRCA testing available and their appropriate uses. She also offers suggestions for interpreting test results on the basis of patients’ personal and family cancer history.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español

Banu K. Arun, MD
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome: Management of Breast Cancer Risk   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Banu K. Arun, MD
Co-Medical Director, Clinical Cancer Genetics Professor, Breast Medical Oncology
 

Summary: Most women have a 10-11% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer by age 70. However, women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Dr. Banu Arun, Professor of Breast Medical Oncology and Co-Director of Clinical Cancer Genetics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says that’s why it’s important to evaluate family history carefully. In her lecture, “Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome: Management of Breast Cancer Risk,” Dr. Arun discusses breast cancer risk management options, including screening, chemoprevention, and surgery, for patients with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. She enumerates the benefits and limitations of current chemoprevention options and reviews ongoing studies for novel chemoprevention agents. She also examines complex cases and discusses when to consider referral to high-risk programs for participation in screening protocols and clinical studies.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español

Karen H. Lu, MD
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome: Management of Ovarian Cancer Risk   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Karen H. Lu, MD
Co-Medical Director, Clinical Cancer Genetics Professor, Gynecologic Oncology

Summary: Of all gynecologic cancers, ovarian cancer is the number one cause of death. Women with an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation can have a 15% to 40% risk of having this deadly disease, compared to a risk of less than 0.2% in women in the general population. Dr. Karen Lu, Professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Co-Medical Director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says knowing the BRCA status helps better define a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer. In her lecture, “Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome: Management of Ovarian Cancer Risk,” Dr. Lu provides two case studies that illustrate the role women’s pedigree may play in determining their ovarian cancer risk. She reviews recent data suggesting when and how to screen for ovarian cancer and provides guidance on discussing with patients the risks, benefits, and limitations of screening. Dr. Lu also discusses appropriate therapy and ongoing trials aimed at identifying more early-stage ovarian cancer cases. Her lecture includes such topics as ovarian cancer prevention, oral contraceptive use, and prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español

Kaylene J. Ready, MS, CGC Amanda C. Brandt, MS, CGC Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Case Studies   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Kaylene J. Ready, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
 
Presenter: Amanda C. Brandt, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor

Summary: About 5% of patients with breast cancer and about 10% of women with ovarian cancer have HBOC. In this lecture, “Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Case Studies,” two certified genetic counselors, Amanda Brandt and Kaylene Ready, present patient case studies that compare and contrast families with sporadic cancer vs. HBOC and discuss when and what type of genetic testing is indicated. Ms. Brandt and Ms. Ready offer advice about interpreting genetic test results on the basis of patients’ personal and family cancer history. They also address difficulties that may arise during the genetic counseling and testing process and give advice on counseling patients and family members about test results.

Jennifer K. Litton, MD
Breast Cancer and Pregnancy   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Jennifer K. Litton, MD
Assistant Professor, Breast Medical Oncology
 

Summary: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in pregnant women and tends to affect women in their mid-30s. Dr. Jennifer Litton, Assistant Professor of Breast Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says that “approximately 1 in 3,000 to 3 in 10,000 deliveries occur in women who’ve also been diagnosed with breast cancer.” Additionally, women who have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation tend to develop breast cancer at an earlier age, which means that these women are more likely to develop breast cancer during their childbearing years. In her lecture, “Breast Cancer and Pregnancy,” Dr. Litton outlines the epidemiology of breast cancer during pregnancy, diagnosis, staging, locoregional therapy, and systemic therapy, and she discusses outcomes in the children born to women who had chemotherapy during their pregnancy. She also talks about why surgery can be considered at any time but chemotherapy is best delayed until after the first trimester.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español

Jennifer K. Litton, MD
Breast Cancer, Pregnancy and Fertility   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Jennifer K. Litton, MD
Assistant Professor, Breast Medical Oncology
 

Summary: Pregnancy and future pregnancies after a breast cancer diagnosis are a significant concern for survivors. There are several key studies addressing this issue. Dr. Jennifer Litton, Assistant Professor of Breast Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says the good news is that “women who develop breast cancer do not show an increased risk of dying of breast cancer if they go on to have a future pregnancy.” In her lecture, “Breast Cancer, Pregnancy, and Fertility,” Dr. Litton discusses available information regarding pregnancies after breast cancer and advises how long a woman should wait after diagnosis before trying to become pregnant. She also reviews fertility preservation options and case studies looking at children born to women with breast cancer.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español

Susan K. Peterson, MPH, PhD
Psychosocial Issues in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancers   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Susan K. Peterson, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor, Behavioral Science
 

Summary: Psychological factors can influence decisions about genetic testing. Dr. Susan Peterson, an Associate Professor in Behavioral Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says family communication, family medical history, and other clinical factors can also influence decisions about genetic testing. In her lecture, “Psychosocial Issues in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancers,” Dr. Peterson outlines factors that influence genetic testing and poignantly discusses the psychosocial effects of genetic information and genetic test results on individuals and families. She explains how psychosocial distress can play a key role in patients’ decisions to undergo testing and reaction to and action after testing. Dr. Peterson offers suggestions for how health care professionals can best prepare patients for both positive and negative genetic test results. In addition, she addresses gaps in adherence to cancer screening recommendations and decision making about risk-reducing surgery.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español

Amanda C. Brandt, MS, CGC
Ethical Considerations in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Amanda C. Brandt, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
 

Summary: Carriers of BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations are at high risk of having breast, ovarian, and other cancers. Amanda Brandt, a certified genetic counselor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says genetic tests are available to identify these harmful mutations, but with them come many ethical questions and considerations. In her lecture, “Ethical Considerations in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer,” Ms. Brandt identifies and discusses many of the important ethical issues arising from genetic testing for hereditary cancer: informed consent, confidentiality and privacy, reproductive decision making, and appropriate testing of children and adolescents. Ms. Brandt also advises how to counsel patients and family members about testing results.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español


Legal Issues in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Kaylene J. Ready, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
 

Summary: Many patients with cancer are apprehensive about genetic testing. They fear it will result in discrimination by health insurance companies and employers. In her lecture, “Legal Issues in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer,” Kaylene Ready, a certified genetic counselor, describes two key laws that protect against genetic discrimination: Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) and the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Ms. Ready also reviews healthcare providers’ duty to warn others about the results of genetics testing and clarifies health care providers’ obligations regarding the disclosure of genetic test results to family members.Texas laws and other state laws are referenced as well.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español

Ashley H. Woodson, MS, CGC
Giving Genetic Testing Results for Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Ashley H. Woodson, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
 

Summary: Counseling patients and their family through the genetic testing process for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer can be challenging. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center would like to partner with you to best prepare and advise patients for both negative and positive test results. In this video, genetic counselors will show you examples of how to effectively deliver test results to patients and family.

 

 

For further information or assistance, to provide feedback on this web site, or to request a specific professional oncology education topic, please e-mail Professional Oncology Education.

Course Options


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center