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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 Risks Associated with an Inherited Mutation

If you have tested positive for a  mutation, we recommend that you consult with a genetics expert who can assess your personal and family history of cancer, and help you decide on a plan to manage your risk. Note that when we use "men" and "women" we are referring to the sex you were assigned at birth.

Breast cancer 

Cancer type Risk with Average risk
Breast cancer in women 40-60%  12.5% 
Male breast cancer less than 1% (0.9%) 0.1%


Gynecologic cancer

Cancer type Risk with Average risk 
Ovarian, and primary peritoneal cancers 3-5%  1.3% 


Pancreatic cancer

  Risk with Average risk
Pancreatic cancer 2-5%  1.0% 


The risk for other cancers in people with a mutation is unknown. 

Graph of lifetime breast cancer risk in women with <button
                class='glossary-tip tt-palb2'
                x-tooltip='<p>PALB2 is the name of a gene linked to cancer. Inherited mutations in PALB2&nbsp;increase the risk for&nbsp;female breast, ovarian, pancreatic and possibly other cancers and can cause cancer to run in families.</p>'
            >PALB2</button> mutations   

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

Get Support
Get Support

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

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 January 01, 2024