The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is a group of leading cancer centers that provides guidance and recommendations for cancer screening and treatment. NCCN committees meet every year to discuss new research and data that are likely to impact cancer care in the US.

In September 2022, NCCN updated the cancer screening recommendations for patients with a pathogenic variant (also known as a mutation) in certain breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes.

  • Patients with a pathogenic variant in the ATM or CHEK2 gene may be candidates for earlier breast cancer screening than previously recommended, beginning at age 30-35.
  • Patients with a pathogenic variant in the BRIP1, RAD51C, and RAD51D genes are recommended to have preventive removal of their fallopian tubes and ovaries at age 45-50; patients with a PALB2 pathogenic variant can consider this surgery at age 45.
  • Additionally, patients with a pathogenic variant in the RAD51C and RAD51D genes may consider enhanced breast cancer screening at age 40.

If you or your family members have tested positive for a pathogenic variant in one of these genes, please review these updated guidelines with your healthcare provider and/or genetic counselor.

It is important to note that cancer genetics is a rapidly evolving area of medicine and future research can impact our understanding of how genes affect cancer risk. We encourage all of our patients, including those with negative test results, to check in with their genetic counselor every year to review current guidelines and as well as any updates to their family history. An appointment can be made by calling the Center for Cancer Risk Assessment at 617-643-9959.