Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About the Genetics of Breast Cancer?

Maurie Markman, MD


December 29, 2020

BRCA2 mutation is a risk factor for male breast cancer.

BRCA2 mutations are not commonly found in women with early-onset (< 45 years) breast cancer; studies have shown a prevalence rate of 2.7% in that population.

BRCA2 mutations confer an increased risk for both breast and ovarian cancer and are an indication for intensive breast cancer surveillance and ovarian cancer. In families at high risk for these cancers, 10%-20% carry a BRCA2 mutation. Women with a BRCA2 mutation have an approximately 10% lifetime risk for ovarian cancer.

In addition to their link to breast cancer, BRCA2 mutations are associated with an increased risk for the following types of cancer:

  • Malignant melanoma

  • Ovarian (10% lifetime risk)

  • Prostate

  • Pancreatic

  • Gallbladder and bile duct

  • Stomach

BRCA2 mutations are associated with an increased incidence of high-grade estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+), progesterone-receptor positive (PR+), HER2-negative breast cancers (luminal type).

Learn more about the genetics of breast cancer.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.