As part of an ongoing series of answers to common questions received by the Basser Center, Executive Director Susan Domchek, MD, discusses early screening recommendations for young women with BRCA mutations, particularly in terms of breast cancer.

Dr. Domchek: One of our questions is what type of screening options are available to a 25 year old woman who has just been found to have a BRCA1/2 mutation. And the key is that for 25 year old women, the major risk for them over the next 10 years of their life is their risk of breast cancer. Things like risk of ovarian cancer and other cancers don't tend to occur at that very young age. Our current guidelines are to start with a breast MRI once a year, between ages 25 and 30, at which point we add on a mammogram at a 6 month interval. And those are the major recommendations we have at that time. Of course women can choose to consider a preventative mastectomy, but the key is to get started on the breast MRIs.