BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the best-known genes linked to breast cancer risk. Everyone has these genes, but some people have an inherited mutation in one or both that increases the risk of breast cancer.
BRCA1/2 mutations have a 50% chance of being passed down to you from either parent and can affect the risk of cancers in both women and men. While only about 5-10 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are due to inherited gene mutations known to increase risk.
Women who have a BRCA1/2 mutation carry a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer between 40% to 85% about 3-7 times greater than the general population. There lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is significantly elevated as well: 16% to 44%, versus just under 2% for the general population.
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