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Changes in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are most closely associated with increased risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Other cancer syndromes can increase the risk for breast or ovarian cancer and may have other signs as well:
Other hereditary mutations have been identified that don’t increase the risk for breast or ovarian cancers but do increase the risk for other cancers. Any family with multiple individuals with the same cancer, very young onset cancers, or rare cancer types should consult with a genetics specialist regarding whether the cancer in family might be hereditary.
Additionally, there are families with multiple cases of breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer in which no mutation has been identified. These familial cancers likely have a hereditary component but the genetic cause has not yet been identified.