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Hereditary Cancer Info > Special Populations > People with Pancreatic Cancer

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BRCA & HBOC
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People with Pancreatic Cancer

Learn more about how HBOC affects members of specific populations.

People with pancreatic cancer

Some experts advocate genetic testing for all pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients, as this information may be critical for other family members in terms of screening and prevention. Recent studies analyzing the number of pancreatic cancer patients who have an inherited mutation in BRCA found that:

  • up to 10% of patients with pancreatic cancer have inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2.
  • up to 17% of pancreatic cancer patients with a family history of pancreatic cancer have inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2.
  • 10-15% of pancreatic cancer patients with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage have a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2

It is important to remember that these numbers show how many people with pancreatic cancer have mutations in BRCA; they do not reflect a BRCA carrier’s risk for developing pancreatic cancer.  Experts believe that the lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is up to 5% in people with a BRCA mutation, although the risk may be higher for people with a family history of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer patients, particularly those with a family history of pancreatic cancer and/or Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, should discuss their family history with a genetics expert to see if genetic testing is right for them.

 

Updated 2/17/16

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