What does an ambiguous BRCA1 or BRCA2 test result mean?

If genetic testing shows a change in BRCA1 or BRCA2 that has not been previously associated with cancer in other people, the person’s test result may be interpreted as “ambiguous” (uncertain). One study found that 10 percent of women who underwent BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation testing had this type of ambiguous result .

Because everyone has genetic differences that are not associated with an increased risk of disease, it is sometimes not known whether a specific DNA change affects a person’s risk of developing cancer. As more research is conducted and more people are tested for BRCA1 or BRCA2 changes, scientists will learn more about these changes and cancer risk.