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Blog: MenoPause ~ take time to think about it

Earlier menopause for women with BRCA mutations

by Margery Gass | Feb 08, 2013
Have you been told that you have a mutation in the BRCA gene, which puts women at high risk of breast or ovarian cancer? If so, you may go through menopause earlier than most other women, and much earlier if you are a heavy smoker. Research the University of California, San Francisco, found that carriers of the mutation experience menopause at an average age of 50 instead of 53, which is more typical for US women. Women who had the abnormal gene and smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day began to go through menopause even earlier—at age 46. So if you have this mutation, you may want to think about completing your family earlier than you might otherwise have. Are you not sure whether you have the mutation? Usually, women who have it have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. If you do, you may want to get tested. Some women with these mutations choose surgery, such as hysterectomy or mastectomy to reduce their risk of these cancers. You can learn more about these mutations and about when to consider getting tested from the National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov.


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1 Comment

  1. 1 Elaine Mulberry 13 Feb
    I want to say that going through menopause was not a problem for me , I had hot flashes for a few years but they passed and my main problem was I was sort of getting a flabby weak look about my body and my MD said I was now getting osteopenia!
    That was a shock because I was always super super fit and highly athletic - like a machine but I saw changes in the body so I read up on bones etc and opted for a weight walking vest made especially for a womans body by nyknyc. It worked - I cleaned up my diet eat healthy now and osteopenia is gone thanks to weight waking in my vest . The most important thing to remember is to stay strong and do weight workouts , I recommend this vest , and your bone will stay intact

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MenoPause: the blog!

Posts to our Blog are written by NAMS staff members and Dr. Margery Gass. All posts are reviewed and edited by Dr. Gass. We strive to bring you the most recent and interesting information about various aspect of menopause and midlife health. We accept no advertising for our website. We want you to have accurate, unbiased, evidence-based information. 

Margery L.S. Gass, MD, NCMP
NAMS Executive Director

An internationally recognized leader in the field of menopause, Dr. Gass became Executive Director of The North American Menopause Society in 2010. Dr. Gass has been an investigator on numerous research projects, including serving as a principal investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative, and has published and presented on a wide range of topics related to menopause, including osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, and hormone therapy.

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