What is the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC)?
Mutations in BRCA1 & BRCA 2 cause hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. In the general population 0.4% of non-Jewish people and 2% of the Ashkenazi Jewish people will have a BRCA mutation. The estimated cancer risk associated with BRCA mutations vary, however, BRCA1 mutations are estimated to have up to an 85% risk of breast cancer and a 40-60% risk of ovarian cancer, while men with BRCA1 mutations have a slightly increased risk of male breast cancer and prostate cancer. Women with BRCA2 mutations have up to a 90% risk of breast cancer and up to a 26% risk of ovarian cancer Men with BRCA2 mutations have a 5-10% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, and an increased risk of prostate cancer (2-5 times the general population risk). Individuals with BRCA2 mutations also have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer and possibly other cancers. Women with BRCA gene mutations should have annual breast screening from the age of 30 onwards, including mammograms and breast MRI. Ovarian screening has not been shown to be beneficial and therefore some women may consider risk-reducing surgery. Men may benefit from prostate cancer screening. Occasionally, a baby will inherit two BRCA2 mutations and will therefore have the congenital condition known as Fanconi Anemia.