Carriers of BRCA2 mutations also have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer, and, for males, prostate cancer and male breast cancer1,2.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 were the first genes discovered to be involved in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and for more than a decade they were the only ones we knew about. However, in the last decade many more genes have been discovered, mutations in which also predispose women to either breast cancer, to ovarian cancer, or to both. Some also cause cancer in other organs too.
However, most of the more recently discovered genes have a lower ‘penetrance’ than BRCA1 or BRCA2, meaning that they confer a smaller lifetime risk of developing cancer than the 70% we see in BRCA1 and BRCA2. It is likely that more genes which can predispose to breast or ovarian cancer will be discovered in coming years.