The appearance of malignant lesions in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers (BRCA-MCs) on mammography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was evaluated. Thus, 29 BRCA-MCs with breast cancer were retrospectively evaluated and the results compared with an age, tumor size and tumor type matched control group of 29 sporadic breast cancer cases. Detection rates on both modalities were evaluated. Tumors were analyzed on morphology, density (mammography), enhancement pattern and kinetics (MRI). Overall detection was significantly better with MRI than with mammography (55/58 vs 44/57, P = 0.021). On mammography, lesions in the BRCA-MC group were significantly more described as rounded (12//19 vs 3/13, P = 0.036) and with sharp margins (9/19 vs 1/13, P = 0.024). On MRI lesions in the BRCA-MC group were significantly more described as rounded (16/27 vs 7/28, P = 0.010), with sharp margins (20/27 vs 7/28, P < 0.001) and with rim enhancement (7/27 vs 1/28, P = 0.025). No significant difference was found for enhancement kinetics (P = 0.667). Malignant lesions in BRCA-MC frequently have morphological characteristics commonly seen in benign lesions, like a rounded shape or sharp margins. This applies for both mammography and MRI. However the possibility of MRI to evaluate the enhancement pattern and kinetics enables the detection of characteristics suggestive for a malignancy.