I've Tested Positive, Now What?
Cancer risk 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 as high as 40 percent.
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, or primary peritoneal cancer (these three cancers and their risks are related and are often referred to together as 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.
Risk for other cancers
Some research has suggested that mutations may also increase the risk for the following cancers:
- other cancers
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.
FORCE offers many peer support programs for people with inherited mutations.
- Our Message Boards allow people to connect with others who share their situation. Once registered, you can post on the Diagnosed With Cancer board to connect with other people who have been diagnosed.
- Our Peer Navigation Program will match you with a volunteer who shares your mutation and situation.
- Our moderated, private Facebook group allows you to connect with other community members 24/7.
- Check out our virtual and in-person support meeting calendar.
- Join one of our Zoom community group meetings.
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.