BRCA-Related Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer Syndrome

BRCA-Related Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer syndrome is the most common cause of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. It is caused by genetic mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Individuals who carry these mutations are at a higher risk for developing certain types of cancer. Compared to the general population, patients with a pathogenic BRCA mutation have a greatly increased risk of developing cancer by age 70—up to a 65% risk of breast cancer and up to a 39% risk of ovarian cancer. Male BRCA1 carriers have an increased risk of prostate cancer while male BRCA2 carriers have a 20-34% lifetime risk of prostate cancer. Individuals with a BRCA mutation are also at an increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer and melanoma.

Published management guidelines for individuals with BRCA-Related Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer syndrome provide recommendations for changing a patient’s medical management in order to decrease the risk of associated cancers. The available options can be individualized and may include increased surveillance, surgery, and/or chemoprevention.