Genetics

In Ireland, the average lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1-2% with approximately 400 cases diagnosed per annum.

It has been estimated that 5 to 10% of cases are due to inheriting a gene from one of your parents. It is hoped that identification and screening of this high-risk group with the inherited gene will reduce the mortality from ovarian cancer.

What types of inherited ovarian cancers are there?

– BRCA1 (Breast Cancer 1) and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer 2) genes

Women with heritable BRCA 1 mutations have a 40% to 60% chance of developing a BRCA-associated gynaecologic (ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal) cancer by age 70, women with germline BRCA 2 mutations have a 10% to 30% chance of developing a BRCA-associated gynaecologic malignancy by age 70.

Women with mutations in either of these tumour suppressor genes are also at a greatly increased risk of breast cancer, with 56% to 84% of mutation carriers developing breast cancer by age 70.

– Lynch syndrome or Hereditary Non Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC), ovarian cancer is associated with colorectal, endometrial, gastric and uro-epithelial malignancies.

Lynch syndrome is caused by mutations or misspellings on DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes and is associated with a 9-11% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer.

For more information see www.cancergenetics.ie and BRCA – Marie Keating Foundation. If you are seeking support following a BRCA diagnosis, please see the BRCA – Marie Keating Foundation website. For more information on Lynch Syndrome visit Lynch Syndrome Ireland.


Cancer Genetics Clinics:

Cancer genetic clinics are run in:

National Centre for Medical Genetics in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin (with satellite clinics in Cork and Galway)

Department of Cancer Genetics, St James’s University Hospital, James’s St, Dublin 8

Cancer Genetics Clinic, Mater Private Hospital, St. Raphael’s House, 81-84 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1