BRCA in Men

Men who carry BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are at an increased risk of several cancers that can develop throughout their lives. Male BRCA2 carriers are at particularly high risk of developing prostate cancers that are more likely to be aggressive and diagnosed at a younger age, as well as male breast cancers. Knowing if you carry these genes may impact how doctors choose to proceed if early signs of cancer are detected or what types of early screening they recommend. Whether or not a male carrier ever develops cancer through his lifetime, he is still able to pass on the BRCA genes to his children.

This site focuses on BRCA gene mutations in the Ashkenazi Jewish population in support of the BC Ashkenazi Jewish community. About 90% of carriers in the Ashkenazi Jewish population carry one of the following three mutations: BRCA1 185delAG, BRCA1 5382insC, and BRCA2 6174delT. Find information below on the risk profiles for each of these mutations for men.


BRCA1 185delAG

BRCA1 185delAG is the most common BRCA1 mutation in the Ashkenazi Jewish population

Prostate Cancer

No increased lifetime risk of prostate cancer, but 3.5 times the risk of developing an aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason score 7-10)

Male Breast Cancer

Slight increased lifetime risk of male breast cancer (however, 5-7x lower risk than BRCA2)

Other Cancers

4 times the lifetime risk of colorectal cancer
Increased lifetime risk (average 2.6x) of all cancers, such as pancreatic, laryngeal, and stomach cancers
No increased lifetime risk of melanoma


BRCA1 5382insC

BRCA1 5382insC is the less common BRCA1 mutation in the Ashkenazi Jewish population

Prostate Cancer

No increased lifetime risk of prostate cancer or increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason score 7-10)

Male Breast Cancer

Slight increased lifetime risk of male breast cancer (however, 5-7x lower risk than BRCA2)

Other Cancers

4 times the lifetime risk of colorectal cancer
Increased lifetime risk (average 2.6x) of all cancers, such as pancreatic, laryngeal, and stomach cancers
No increased lifetime risk of melanoma


BRCA2 6174delT

Half of all BRCA carriers in the Ashkenazi Jewish population will carry BRCA2 6174delT

Prostate Cancer

20% lifetime risk of prostate cancer (double the average population risk) and 3.5 times the risk of developing a potentially aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason score 7-10) with younger average age of diagnosis

Male Breast Cancer

7% lifetime risk of breast cancer in males (2.5x higher than other BRCA2 mutations)

Other Cancers

12 times the lifetime risk of lymphoma
Increased lifetime risk (average 1.8x) of all cancers, such as pancreatic (3.5x), colorectal cancer (2.3x), gallbladder (5x), laryngeal and stomach cancer (2.6x), melanoma (2.6x)