Read about different genes that are linked to hereditary cancer, their associated risks and guidelines for screening, preventing and treating cancers in people with inherited mutations in these genes.

Cancer risk associated with inherited ATM mutations

If you have tested positive for an ATM mutation, we recommend that you speak with a genetics expert who can look at your personal and family history of cancer and can help you choose the best plan for managing your cancer risk.

Breast cancer risk

Women with an ATM mutation have an increased risk of breast cancer. The estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer is as high as 53 percent. A woman's risk may vary depending on her specific ATM mutation. 

graph of breast cancer risk with <abbr
                class='glossary-tip tt-atm'
                title='<p>ATM is a gene found on chromosome 11.&nbsp;Mutations in ATM&nbsp;increase the risk for&nbsp;female breast, pancreatic, prostate and possibly other cancers.&nbsp;</p>
            >ATM</abbr> mutation










Risk for other cancers

Some research has suggested that ATM mutations may also increase the risk for the following cancers:

  • ovarian
  • pancreatic
  • prostate
  • melanoma
  • other cancers   

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

Research on ATM and the risk for other cancers is ongoing.

  • NCT02665195: Prospective 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 ATM mutations can enroll in PROMPT to help researchers learn more about cancer risks. 
Last updated September 13, 2020