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BRCA & HBOC
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Other Cancers

Learn about the specific risks for cancers associated with HBOC.

Lung cancer

A 2014 study linked that linked specific BRCA2 mutation to higher rates of lung cancer in smokers made headline when it was released. Researchers in this study were looking for genes that are associated with lung cancer risk in individuals of European decent. They found that smokers who had the Lys3326X mutation in BRCA2 were at an increased risk for lung cancer. All smokers have a 15% lifetime risk of lung cancer, but people with the Lys3326X mutation in BRCA2 had a 25% lifetime risk. It is important to note that the Lys3326X variant is not one of the mutations associated with increased breast or ovarian cancer risk. Further research is needed to see if other mutations in BRCA2 are associated with an even higher risk of lung cancer.

Two previous studies found that individuals with HBOC-causing BRCA2 mutations did not have an increased risk of lung cancer when compared with the general population, but these studies did not look at whether or not the mutation carrier smoked.

Given that smokers have a 15% risk of lung cancer, anyone who is concerned with reducing cancer risk should refrain from smoking.  

Updated 03/07/16

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