Pancreatic cancer is notorious for being difficult to treat—and it is often not detected until it advances beyond the pancreas. While smoking and obesity are two established risk factors that impact this disease, another risk factor can be mutations in the BRCA2 gene, also associated with breast and ovarian cancer.
Research studies have identified a link between mutations in the BRCA2 gene and pancreatic cancer, meaning that individuals who test positive for a BRCA2 (BReast Cancer susceptibility gene) mutation demonstrate a heightened risk of pancreatic cancer. Recent studies have identified inherited BRCA2 mutations in approximately 1 to 4 percent of pancreatic cancer cases, according to Sahar Nissim, MD, PhD, of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Read the story.