BRCA2 and cancer risks for women

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 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 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 BRCA2 mutation. Of 100 women with a BRCA2 mutation, 61 to 77 of them will develop breast cancer before the age of 80.

Women with BRCA2 mutation – breast cancer
Women with BRCA2 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 BRCA2 mutation. Of 100 women with a BRCA2 mutation, 11 to 25 of them will develop ovarian cancer before the age of 80.

Women with BRCA2 mutation – ovarian cancer
Women with BRCA2 mutation – ovarian 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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