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Cancers linked to inherited mutations

Cancers caused by an  are called hereditary cancers. The remaining cancers - those not caused by an - are called sporadic cancers. Most cancers are sporadic, but overall, about 10-20% of cancers are believed to be caused by an

Some common cancer types and associated inherited mutations are listed in the table below. 

Type of cancer List of gene mutations
Breast , , , , , ,
Colorectal APC, , , MUTYH
Endometrial *, ,
, ovarian and primary peritoneal ,  
Gastric  APC, , , MUTYH**, 
Melanoma , CDK4CDKN2A
Pancreatic CDKN2A
, **, **, **, **, **, **

*Although the increased risk is small, mutations have been linked to a rare and aggressive type of endometrial cancer. 

**More research is needed to learn the risk for people with mutations in this gene.   

Last updated February 08, 2022

Key Facts about Hereditary Cancer
Key Facts about Hereditary Cancer

  • Mutations in different genes increase the risk for different types of cancers. 
  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome () refers to mutations in and , which increase the risk for breast, ovarian, pancreatic, and other cancers. 
  • refers to mutations in , , , and , which increase the risk for colorectal, endometrial and other cancers.