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What is my risk of ovarian cancer if I have the BRCA gene mutation?

To date, only about 10% of ovarian cancer cases are caused by inherited defects (mutation) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Genes, the pieces of the chemical DNA within your cells that are inherited from your parents, determine many aspects of your body's makeup. Scientists have known for years that genes help determine the risk for developing a disease like cancer.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes normally help prevent cancer by making a protein that keeps cells from growing too much. But if you have a defect in either of these genes -- inherited from either parent -- they don't make that protein, and there's nothing to slow down or stop rapidly multiplying cells from becoming cancerous.
Diljeet K. Singh, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
If you have the BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation, your risk for ovarian cancer can be somewhere between 20-40%. In this video, gynecologic oncologist Diljeet Singh, MD, explains this major risk factor and how it impacts prevention and treatment.
David A. Fishman, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
Women who inherit breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) mutations have a 35% to 70% chance of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, while the lifetime ovarian cancer risk for women who are breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2) positive is estimated to be between 10% and 30%. The mean age of onset of ovarian cancer is significantly earlier in women with a BRCA1 mutation, 45 years, compared with over 60 years of age for those with a BRCA2 mutation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.