BRCA-Related Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer Syndrome

Cancer is more common in some families than others. Sometimes cancer is caused by a change in a gene, called a mutation. Cancer caused by a mutation passed down from a parent is called hereditary cancer.

BRCA-Related Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer Syndrome is the most common cause of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. It is caused by mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Women and men who carry these mutations are at a higher risk for developing certain types of cancer.  These include cancers of the breast, ovary, prostate, and pancreas. There may also be an increased risk for melanoma.  Having a mutation does not mean you have cancer, only that you are at a higher risk for developing cancer.

Knowing if you have a mutation allows you and your healthcare provider to take steps to reduce your chances of developing cancer. If you already have cancer, knowing if you have a BRCA mutation allows your healthcare providers to make informed treatment decisions.