Carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation increases the risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, as well as certain other cancers.

Having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, however, does not mean you will develop cancer, only that you are at increased risk to develop cancer.

At this time, no one can predict:

  • your exact risk for developing cancer
  • the type of cancer you may develop
  • the age that a cancer develops

This section provides a general overview of the cancer risks associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. If you have specific questions about your risk, your genetic counsellor can help answer them.

  • Women’s risk

    Understand cancer risks for women who are BRCA mutation carriers

  • Men’s risk

    Understand cancer risks for men who are BRCA mutation carriers


A note about risk ranges
Cards_graphicThere have been several studies done to estimate cancer risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Risk is presented as a range, rather than a single number, because there are variations between the studies, including:

  • the types of study
  • the methods of analysis
  • the population studied

The ranges presented here are taken from studies called “meta-analyses” that combine the results of many studies.

You should always consult a genetic counsellor about your risk.