Being a BRCA carrier:
Cancer risks

Having a BRCA mutation, or being a ‘BRCA carrier’, increases your risk of developing certain types of cancer. This is true for both men and women. The table below lists BRCA-associated cancers along with the lifetime risk of developing each cancer type for both male and female carriers.

Breast Cancer Risk

General population

Female

12%

Male

0.5%

BRCA1 carriers

Female

60-80%

Male

1%

BRCA2 carriers

Female

60-80%

Male

6%

Ovarian Cancer Risk

General population

Female

1-2%

Male

n/a

BRCA1 carriers

Female

40-60%

Male

n/a

BRCA2 carriers

Female

10-30%

Male

n/a

Prostate Cancer Risk

General population

Female

n/a

Male

12%

BRCA1 carriers

Female

n/a

Male

>0%*

*Minimal increased risk

BRCA2 carriers

Female

n/a

Male

25%**

**Often more aggressive in younger men

Pancreatic Cancer Risk

General population

Female

1.5%

Male

1.5%

BRCA1 carriers

Female

Up to 3%

Male

Up to 3%

BRCA2 carriers

Female

2-7%

Male

2-7%

Melanoma Risk

General population

Female

1-2%

Male

1-2%

BRCA1 carriers

Female

1-2%

Male

1-2%

BRCA2 carriers

Female

3-5%

Male

3-5%