While there are many environmental risk factors that contribute to pancreatic cancer risk, a well-known association in the inherited context is that between BRCA2 mutations and pancreatic adenocarcinoma, with carriers having a 3.5-fold increase in risk in comparison with the general population (Murphy et al., 2002). Pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common malignancy in the UK and affects approximately 1 in 77 men and 1 in 79 women in the population (CRUK, 2011). In those with a family history of the disease, 17% will harbour a BRCA2 mutation (Iqbal et al., 2012). In families with breast and ovarian cancer any pancreatic cancer diagnosis should be probed, particularly as it may change the family’s eligibility for genetic testing if this information is missed and the threshold of detecting a mutation (10% or more) is not met based on initial family history collection.
Rare BRCA2 related cancers
Ocular melanoma has been reported in BRCA2 families in some studies (Liede et al., 2004). Gall bladder and bile duct carcinoma (Breast Cancer Linkage Consortium, 1999) are also known to occur in BRCA2 families but are rare.