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Cancer Risks Associated with Inherited Mutations

If you have tested positive for an mutation, we recommend that you speak with a genetics expert who can look at your personal and family history of cancer and help you decide on a plan for managing your cancer risk. It is important to note that cancer risks are estimates over the course of a person's lifetime. Your lifetime risk and risk over the next five years will vary depending on:

  • current age
  • sex assigned at birth
  • specific mutation
  • personal and family health history
  • diet, exercise, lifestyle and other factors

Note that when we use "men" and "women" we are referring to the sex you were assigned at birth.

Breast cancer risk

Women with an mutation have an increased risk of breast cancer. The estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer is between 20-30 percent. Note that a common mutation known as c.7271T>G variant has been linked to a higher risk for breast cancer than other variants. 

Pancreatic cancer risk

People with an mutation have an increased risk for pancreatic cancer. The estimated lifetime risk is 5-10%. 

Ovarian cancer risk

The risk for ovarian cancer is slightly elevated for people with an inherited mutation.The estimated lifetime risk is about 2-3%, compared to about 1.3% for the general population.

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            >ATM</button> mutation     Lifetime risk for pancreatic cancer in people with an <button
                x-data
                class='glossary-tip tt-atm'
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Risk for other cancers

Research suggests that mutations may also increase the risk for cancer.   

Research on the cancer risks in people with mutations is ongoing but not yet conclusive. More research is needed to better define the lifetime risks for other cancers in people with an mutation. For this reason, genetics experts often look at a family’s history of cancer to help people with mutations understand their risk for additional cancers.

Last updated November 27, 2023

Get Support
Get Support

FORCE offers many peer support programs for people with inherited mutations. 

updated: 08/06/2022

Open Clinical Trials
Open Clinical Trials

NCT02665195: Registry Of MultiPlex Testing (PROMPT). PROMPT is an online research registry. The goal of PROMPT is to help researchers to better understand the risks that are linked to mutations in less well-studied genes. People with inherited mutations can enroll in PROMPT to help researchers learn more about cancer risks. 

updated: 05/29/2023