Men with a BRCA2 gene mutation have a higher risk of developing prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer during their lifetime. Learn more about these risks.

Men who have a BRCA2 gene mutation have a higher risk of developing prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer during their lifetime. This page explains more about these risks. It should be read with our general information about BRCA.

If you have a BRCA2 mutation, it is important to talk to your genetics specialist about your cancer risk. They will explain the numbers below in more detail. Your risk may be affected by:

  • your age
  • the type of BRCA2 gene mutation you have
  • your family history of cancer.

It can be difficult to understand risk statistics and what they mean for you. You may find it helpful to print a copy of this page and take it with you to talk about it with your genetics specialist.

Lifetime risk of prostate cancer

Of 100 men in the general population, 12 or 13 of them will develop prostate cancer before the age of 80. Most of these men are over the age of 65 when they are diagnosed.

The image shows a horizontal bar. This represents 100 men in the general population. Slightly more than a tenth of the bar is shaded green. This represents 13 men who develop prostate cancer before the age of 80. The rest of the bar is grey. This represents 87 men who do not develop prostate cancer.

The risk is higher if you have a BRCA2 mutation. Of 100 men with a BRCA2 mutation, around 20 of them will develop prostate cancer before the age of 80. Prostate cancers caused by BRCA2 mutations are often diagnosed under the age of 65.

The image shows a horizontal bar. This represents 100 men with a BRCA2 mutation. A fifth of the bar is shaded green. This represents 20 men who develop prostate cancer before the age of 80. The rest of the bar is shaded grey. This represents 80 men who do not develop prostate cancer



Lifetime risk of breast cancer

Of 100 men in the general population, less than 1 man will develop breast cancer before the age of 80. In fact, breast cancer only affects about 1 in 1000 men in the general population.

The image shows a horizontal bar. This represents 100 men in the general population. A very small section is shaded green. This represents 1 man who develops breast cancer before the age of 80. The rest of the bar is grey. This represents 99 men who do not develop breast cancer.

The risk is slightly higher if you have a BRCA2 mutation. Of 100 men with a BRCA2 mutation, about 7 of them will develop breast cancer before the age of 80.

The image shows a horizontal bar. This represents 100 men with a BRCA2 mutation. Less than a tenth of the bar is shaded green. This represents 7 men who develop breast cancer before the age of 80. The rest of the bar is grey. This represents 93 men who do not develop breast cancer.



Lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer

Of 100 people in the general population, 1 or 2 of them will develop pancreatic cancer before the age of 80.

The image shows a horizontal bar. This represents 100 people in the general population. A very small section is shaded green. This represents 2 people who develop pancreatic cancer before the age of 80. The rest of the bar is grey. This represents 98 people who do not develop pancreatic cancer.

The risk is slightly higher if you have a BRCA2 mutation. Of 100 people with a BRCA2 mutation, between 2 and 7 of them will develop pancreatic cancer before the age of 80.

The image shows a horizontal bar. This represents 100 people with a BRCA2 mutation. Less than a tenth of the bar is shaded green. This represents 2 to 7 people who develop pancreatic cancer before the age of 80. The rest of the bar is grey. This represents 93 people who do not develop pancreatic cancer.

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