Everyone has BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but some people are born with an error, called a mutation, in one of these genes. Men and women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are at heightened risk for developing certain cancers, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.

Our extensive listing of frequently asked questions will help you learn about genetic counseling and testing, understand and manage the cancer risks related to BRCA mutations, and discover treatment options for BRCA-related cancers. You can also find commonly asked questions about insurance, resources to help coping with the news of a BRCA mutation or cancer, as well as suggestions for communicating with family members about risks, care, and support.

Genetic Counseling and Testing

Wondering if genetic testing for BRCA1 or BRCA2 is right for you? Cancer risk evaluation involves meeting with a genetics specialist to understand your risk for different cancers. Knowing about an increased risk for cancer can provide families with important, sometimes life-saving options, such as increased cancer screenings and, risk-reducing surgeries. The Basser Center can help you find information on cancer risk evaluation, hereditary links between cancers, BRCA cancer risks and inheritance, and the genetic counseling and testing process.

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Managing Cancer Risk

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If you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, you are at an increased risk for certain cancers. There are options to help manage or reduce your cancer risks, and a risk management plan can be tailored to your individual circumstances. For example, learning that you are BRCA positive means you may benefit from more frequent check-ups and screening tests starting at earlier ages than someone without a gene mutation.

Women and men of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry have a

1 in 40

chance of carrying a BRCA gene mutation


This is about a 10 times greater chance than the general population

Cancer Treatment

The Basser Center can help you navigate the treatment of BRCA-related cancers, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. Knowing about the presence of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation can sometimes impact cancer treatment and may influence treatment recommendations like chemotherapy or hormonal therapy.

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Insurance

Find commonly asked questions about insurance, including information about the cost and coverage of genetic testing and screenings, as well as the impact of a BRCA mutation on health and life insurance.

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