Infertility | How Angelina Jolie Cancer Gene Mutation Links To Infertility?
Infertility researchers say that women who are carrying the Angelina Jolie cancer gene mutation have a very few eggs in their ovaries which can create difficulties in getting pregnant. According to researchers, women who are carrying the BRCA1 mutation which carries by the Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, should not try to delay their pregnancy until the age of 30s and 40s. Angelina Jolie came in limelight for her health problems and her infertility issues when her double mastectomy and having both ovaries removed after finding out that she carried the BRCA1 mutation, which is linked to an increased risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Infertility with BRCA1 mutations
Infertility researchers say that women who carry the BRCA1 mutation have the 65 percent of risk for developing breast cancer and 39 percent of ovarian cancer by the age of 70. Now it has been researched that there is a link between the BRCA1 gene mutation and lower levels of a hormone that is an indicator of the number of eggs left in a woman’s ovaries. This is the first large study that looked at the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations and levels of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) in women who carry the mutated genes. This study has been done by a group of international researchers. They found that women who carry the BRCA1 mutation was linked to anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) concentrations and they have on average 25 per cent of lower chance to get pregnant naturally than those women who are not carrying the BRCA1. According to research that was published in the journal Human Reproduction, the effect was not found in those women who are carrying the BRCA2 mutation.
The first author of this study Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Australia, said that according to this study, it has been found that women with BRCA1 mutation in their mid 30 have on average ovarian reserves similar to those of non-carriers and are two years older. Anyway, anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is a reliable marker to pretend ovarian reserve. We have to remember that AMH is the only way that shows the potential of women’s fertility. To be able to get pregnant and complete the full term of pregnancy till nine months gets affected by many other factors as well as egg quality, and whether the fallopian tubes are unobstructed, neither of which are measured by AMH. Sometimes women who have low level of AMH can still get pregnant and sometimes women with high level of AMH can have the difficulties in getting pregnant. However, according to this study, it has been suggested that those women who carry the BRCA1 mutation should avoid delaying pregnancy until their age of 30s and 40s. At this point, fertility is reduces anyway because of their age. So, if women want to get pregnant in her 20s any difference in ovarian reserve between BRCA1 mutation carriers and non-carriers is unlikely to be of clinical significance. Anyway, there are higher chances of developing the risk of cancers in the breast, ovaries, fallopian tubes and peritoneum for those women who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
Cancer risk with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations
Researchers say that the risk of cancers increases with the age of women who carry these gene mutations and higher chances are with them who carry the BRCA1 mutations than those who are the carriers of BRCA2 mutations. These mutations are rare with the general number of population- about 0.1 per cent for BRCA1 and 0.2 per cent for BRCA2.
Researchers suggest removing their ovaries and fallopian tubes in order to minimize the risk of cancers if the woman who has these mutations enters in her early 40s. Many women are there who know that they are carrying these mutations and that’s why they decide to get pregnant in their younger age. However, until now there has been very little good quality of evidence has found about the effects of these genetic mutations on non-cancer-related conditions such as fertility. However, this study was just a hypothesis at this stage and it requires further research said the researchers.
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