The uptake of prophylactic surgeries among Latinas with germline BRCA mutations may be slightly lower than what has been reported in non-Hispanic whites but higher than in African Americans, a group of U.S. researchers said. They presented their findings on Saturday, December 10, during a poster session at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Noting the “paucity of data on Latinas and prophylactic measures among BRCA1/2 carriers,” the researchers designed the observational UPTAKE study of Latinas with germline BRCA1 or 2 mutations. Subjects, excluding women with ovarian cancer, reported increased choice of prophylactic surgeries (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy [BSO], bilateral mastectomy in unaffected women, and contralateral mastectomy) in carriers with breast cancer. All participants had been informed that they carried a deleterious BRCA1 or 2 mutation at least one year prior to completing the interview. As of mid-June, the group had conducted 86 interviews.

The population was diverse in terms of country of origin: 50.0% (n = 43) were born in the United States, 22.1% (n = 19) in Mexico, 11.6% (n = 10) in Puerto Rico, 4.6% (n = 4) in El Salvador, 3.5% (n = 3) in Ecuador, and 8.1% (n = 7) in other Latin American countries. A total of 30% reported annual household incomes less than $50,000. Only 26.7% (n = 23) of women reported having a graduate degree. Approximately one quarter of participants were unemployed at the time of study participation (26.7%, n = 23). The majority of women (62.8%, n = 54) were affected with breast cancer, and even more (73.3%, n = 63) had received formal genetic counseling. However, only 18 (28.6%) received counseling in Spanish. A total of 66.3% (n = 57) of women opted to undergo BSO, and 58.1% (n = 50) underwent prophylactic mastectomy. Being born outside the United States and currently working were associated with higher choice of BSO.