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Family History and Risk of Ovarian Cancer-Reply

Edward L. Trimble, MD, MPH; Vicki L. Seltzer, MD
JAMA. 1995;274(5):383. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530050031023.
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In Reply.  —Drs Foulkes and colleagues underscore a key point in the recommendations of the NIH Consensus Development Panel on Ovarian Cancer, namely, the importance of ascertaining family history to define a woman's inherited risk of ovarian, breast, colon, and other cancers. However, it is important to differentiate between those women whose pedigree fits one of the three major syndromes (site-specific ovarian cancer syndrome, breast-ovarian cancer syndrome, and Lynch II syndrome) and those in whom the appearance of ovarian cancer appears to be sporadic.1 The vast majority (97%) of women with two or three relatives with ovarian cancer will not have a hereditary cancer syndrome.2,3 Their lifetime probability of developing ovarian cancer appears to be about 7%. Those women whose family history is consistent with a hereditary cancer syndrome may have a lifetime risk of 40%, assuming an autosomal-dominant inheritance pattern with 80% penetrance.4 The development of


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