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

Women who have a BRCA2 gene mutation have a higher risk of developing breast, ovarian 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 breast cancer

Of 100 women in the general population, 12 or 13 of them will develop breast cancer before the age of 80.

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

The risk is higher if you have a BRCA2 mutation. Of 100 women with a BRCA2 mutation, 61 to 77 of them will develop breast cancer before the age of 80.

The image shows a horizontal bar. This represents 100 women with a BRCA2 mutation. Just over three quarters of the bar is shaded green. This represents 61 to 77 women who develop breast cancer before the age of 80. The rest of the bar is shaded grey. This represents 23 women who do not develop breast cancer.



Lifetime risk of ovarian cancer

Of 100 women in the general population, less than 2 of them will develop ovarian cancer before the age of 80.

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

The risk is higher if you have a BRCA2 mutation. Of 100 women with a BRCA2 mutation, 11 to 25 of them will develop ovarian cancer before the age of 80.

The image shows a horizontal bar. This represents 100 women with a BRCA2 mutation. A quarter of the bar is shaded green. This represents 11 to 25 women who develop ovarian cancer before the age of 80. The rest of the bar is shaded grey. This represents 75 women who do not develop ovarian 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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