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  • Writer's pictureWomen's Cancer Research Foundation

The Risks of Cancer in Older Women with BRCA Pathogenic Variants: How Far Have We Come?

Updated: Jan 12

Pathogenic Variants

In a recent study, investigators estimated the cumulative risks of all cancers in women from 50 to 75 years of age who were diagnosed with BRCA Pathogenic variants, BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene (the genes found to be associated with inherited forms of breast and ovarian cancer).

The risk of any cancer from age 50 to 75 was 49% for BRCA1 and 43% for BRCA2.

Participants were women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation who had no cancer before the age of 50 years and were followed from age 50 until a diagnosis of cancer, death, age 75, or last follow-up. In the 2211 women who were included (1470 BRCA1 and 742 BRCA2) in the study, there were 379 cancers diagnosed in the cohort between 50 and 75 years. The risk of any cancer from age 50 to 75 was 49% for BRCA1 and 43% for BRCA2. Breast (n = 186) and ovarian (n = 45) were the most frequent cancers observed. For women who had risk-reducing surgery before age 50, the risk of developing any cancer between age 50 and 75 was 9%. Consequently, women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have a high risk of cancer between the ages of 50 and 75 years and should be counselled appropriately.

About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation

The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of the most active research organizations in the nation. We are dedicated to studying and evaluating novel treatments for women afflicted with breast, ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancers. The WCRF persistently endeavors to make a difference in women’s lives by offering them hope, strength, and progress.

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