BRCA2 and cancer risks for men

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 BRCA1 and BRCA2.

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:

It can be difficult to understand risk statistics and what they mean for you. You may find it helpful to take a copy of this page 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.

Men in general population – prostate cancer
Men in general population – prostate cancer

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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.

Men with BRCA2 mutation – prostate cancer
Men with BRCA2 mutation – prostate cancer

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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.

Men in general population – breast cancer
Men in general population – breast cancer

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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.

Men with BRCA2 mutation – breast cancer
Men with BRCA2 mutation – breast cancer

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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.

People in general population – pancreatic cancer
People in general population – pancreatic cancer

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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.

People with BRCA2 mutation – pancreatic cancer
People with BRCA2 mutation – pancreatic cancer

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