A BRCA gene test uses a sample of your blood to look for changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that may increase your risk of cancer.
Changes in your genes are called gene variants or mutations. Not all gene variants are harmful.
Genes are parts of DNA that you inherit from your parents. They carry information that controls what you look like and how your body works. BRCA genes repair damaged DNA in your cells and protect you from getting certain types of cancer.
If you have a harmful variant in your BRCA genes, they may not work properly. This increases your risk of getting cancer. BRCA is short for breast cancer gene. The increased risk for breast cancer mostly affects females. But the breast cancer risk for males who have a harmful BRCA variant is higher than for other males.