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Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing

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 dermatologist 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 under a microscope.
  • 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 and liberally, 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 dermatologist 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.
Last updated September 19, 2022

Get Support
Get Support

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

updated: 08/06/2022

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. 

updated: 11/15/2022

Open Clinical Trials
Open Clinical Trials

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

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

updated: 06/18/2022

Open Clinical Trials
Open Clinical Trials

  • NCT03174574: Two Cancers, One Gene (TCOG). The TCOG study is looking at why some people in families with CDKN2A mutations develop melanoma or pancreatic cancer. The overall goal of this study is to understand the factors that increase pancreatic cancer and melanoma in high-risk families.

updated: 03/13/2022