cancer susceptibility gene mutation (KAN-ser suh-SEP-tih-BIH-lih-tee jeen myoo-TAY-shun)
A term used to describe mutations (changes) in certain genes that may increase a person’s risk of some types of cancer. For example, a person who has certain mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene has higher than normal risks of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Cancer susceptibility gene mutations are usually inherited (passed from parent to child) and may be seen within families. Knowing if a person has a cancer susceptibility gene mutation may help prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. Not all people who have a cancer susceptibility gene mutation will develop cancer. Also called cancer predisposing gene mutation.