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Breast cancer survivors who have an inherited BRCA mutation or hereditary breast cancer are at higher risk for ovarian cancer than breast cancer survivors with sporadic breast cancer. A research study on ovarian cancer risk in breast cancer survivors with a BRCA mutation found a 12.7% risk in BRCA1 carriers and 6.8% risk in BRCA2 carriers within 10 years of the breast cancer diagnosis.
Women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer but no identified BRCA mutation have an elevated risk of ovarian cancer after breast cancer, but the exact risk is unknown. Research on ovarian cancer risk associated with mutations in BRIP1, RAD51c, RAD51d, and other genes found on many expanded panel tests remain an active area of research. Survivors with a family history of breast cancer only, (no ovarian cancer in the family) but no known mutation in the family, may not have an elevated ovarian cancer risk. A study on women from families with an extensive history of breast cancer but without a BRCA mutation found the risk for ovarian cancer was similar to women in the general population.
Genetics experts can help breast cancer survivors who have a mutation in BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, RAD51c, RAD51d, or one of the genes associated with Lynch syndrome, a family history of cancer, or other indicators of hereditary cancer determine their risk for ovarian cancer and develop a risk management plan.