BRCA1 and cancer risks for women

Women who have a BRCA1 gene mutation have a high risk of developing breast and ovarian 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 BRCA1 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 breast cancer

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

Women in general population – breast cancer
Women in general population – breast cancer

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The risk is higher if you have a BRCA1 mutation. Of 100 women with a BRCA1 mutation, 65 to 79 of them will develop breast cancer before the age of 80.

Women with BRCA1 mutation – breast cancer
Women with BRCA1 mutation – breast cancer

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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.

Women in general population – ovarian cancer
Women in general population – ovarian cancer

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The risk is higher if you have a BRCA1 mutation. Of 100 women with a BRCA1 mutation, 36 to 53 of them will develop ovarian cancer before the age of 80.

Women with BRCA1 mutation – ovarian cancer
Women with BRCA1 mutation – ovarian cancer

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