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Cancer Risk

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.

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Glossary on

Cancer risk associated with inherited mutations

If you have tested positive for a  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. Note that when we use "men" and "women" we are referring to the sex you were assigned at birth.

  • Women with a mutation have an increased risk of breast cancer. The estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer is as high as 30 percent.  
  • Currently, there is not enough evidence to show a link between mutations and an increased risk of other cancers.

Research on the risk for cancer in people with mutations is ongoing. 

Graph of lifetime risk for breast cancer in a woman with a <button
                class='glossary-tip tt-bard1'
                x-tooltip='<p>BARD1 is a gene found on chromosome 2.&nbsp;Mutations in BARD1&nbsp;increase the risk for&nbsp;female breast cancer&nbsp;and possibly other cancers.&nbsp;</p>
            >BARD1</button> mutation

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

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. 

Last updated November 28, 2023