Conclusion

The last 20 years have yielded substantial progress in the understanding of the basic science of hereditary ovarian cancer syndromes, the BRCA1, BRCA2, and HNPCC-associated genes, and their role in hereditary cancer susceptibility. Developments in the translation of these findings into clinical applications are emerging, but important questions remain. Research is needed to better define not only the environmental and genetic factors dictating which mutation carriers will develop cancer, but also the efficacy of preventive interventions in this specific population.

Information on high-risk breast and ovarian clinics is available on the websites of most National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. These facilities can provide a more detailed risk assessment as well as genetic counseling and testing, breast and ovarian screening, and risk-reduction strategies for women at increased risk.

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