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Genetics & Genomics

Cancer Risks for Men With BRCA1/2 Mutations

Suzanne M. Mahon
ONF 2014, 41(1), 99-101 DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.99-101

Testing for mutations in breast cancer genes 1 and 2 (BRCA1/2) has been available since 1998, but much of the focus of this testing has been on the implications for women (Weitzel, Blazer, MacDonald, Culver, & Offit, 2011). Women who test positive face a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer of about 87% and about 45% for ovarian cancer, and are confronted with decisions about intensive screening or preventing the malignancies with the use of prophylactic surgery (e.g., bilateral mastectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy). Women and men who are BRCA 1/2 positive also may have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer and melanoma. However, the clinical implications for men who carry these mutations are not as clear (Pal et al., 2013).

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