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Risk Management

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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Risk Management for People with Inherited CDKN2A Mutations

The following are risk management guidelines for people with CDKN2A mutations. We also recommend that you speak with a genetics expert who can look at your personal and family history of cancer and can help you determine the best risk management plan. You can learn more about risk management options in our section on Screening and Risk Reduction by Cancer Type.  

Melanoma screening and prevention

  • Perform monthly self-exams to look for skin changes. Have a friend or family member help with hard to see areas of the body.
  • Watch moles closely for any signs of change in shape, size, or color.
  • Twice yearly  exam should include mole mapping, or full body photography. They may also view moles with a hand-held device known as a dermatoscope. Any suspicious moles or other skin changes should be removed by a doctor so the tissue can be analyzed by a pathologist.
  • Due to the high risk of multiple melanomas, people with familial melanoma and/or CDKN2A gene mutations should practice sun safety and take steps to protect themselves when outdoors. This can include avoiding being outside during the peak sun exposure hours between 10:00 AM and 4:00 , seeking shade when available, using sunscreen frequently, wearing a hat with a brim at least 3 inches wide that extends all the way around the head, and wearing protective clothing that includes coverage of the arms and legs.
  • Children in families that have familial melanoma and/or CDKN2A gene mutations should begin screening by age 10.
  • In people that have had melanoma, thorough skin exams should be performed every 3 to 6 months by a depending on several factors, including number of moles, time since diagnosis, skin type and melanoma type.

Pancreatic cancer screening and prevention

  • Consider pancreatic cancer screening, beginning at age 40 (or 10 years younger than the earliest case of pancreatic cancer in the family), using one or both of the following:
    • contrast-enhanced MRI/magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRI/MRCP)
    • endoscopic (EUS)
  • Before undergoing screening, people should have a conversation with their doctor about the potential benefits, risks, costs and limitations of screening.
  • NCCN recommends that the screening be performed in an experienced facility.

Get Support
Get Support

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

Paying For Care
Paying For Care

Health plan coverage of screening and prevention varies, and deductibles, coinsurance and copays often apply. If you need preventive services and your insurance company denies your claim, your health care provider can help you write an appeal letter, or you can use one of our sample appeal letters. If you need information about finding an insurance plan, watch our video: Choosing Wisely: How to Pick Insurance Plans.

Visit our section on Insurance and Paying for Care: Screening and Prevention for more information. 

Open Clinical Trials
Open Clinical Trials

The following studies are looking at risk management for pancreatic cancer:

A number of other clinical trials for pancreatic cancer screening and prevention may be found here.

Open Clinical Trials
Open Clinical Trials

  • NCT03250078: Pancreatic Cancer Screening Study for High Risk People. The purpose of this study is to screen and detect pancreatic cancer and precancer in people with a strong family history of pancreatic cancer, or people with an and at least one first- or with pancreatic cancer. This includes people with a CDKN2A .
  • NCT02206360: Pancreatic Cancer Early Detection. This is a study looking at esophageal as a screening for pancreatic cancer in high risk individuals. The study will enroll people with an inherited risk for cancer due to a or CDKN2A mutation.
Last updated December 30, 2023