HEALTH and MEDICAL EDUCATION

HEALTH and MEDICAL EDUCATION

Hereditary Cancer: Genetics, Family, and History risk factors

Evidence suggests that heredity plays a role in developing cancer. Some gene mutations associated with cancer are inherited. For example, inheritance of the mutated tumor suppressor genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 greatly increases the risk of breast cancer in young women.

Basically its when a Mother and a father both have ''leftovers'' from their parents say if Dad were to have green eyes and freckles and Mom were to have blue eyes and a widow's peak the children would have gather those parts and would have either blue eyes with freckles or green eyes with a widows peak and what's more is if say Dad was a sports guy and Mom was a swimming person either one or both of the child/children would be interested in sports interested in swimming or both as it goes to show you that our parents leave behind used parts for us to intake

Scientists suspect that many other hereditary factors contribute to cancer. In addition to inherited mutations (colon), other genetic variations, particularly those influencing how the body responds to carcinogens, may create a greater susceptibility to cancer. The identities of the majority of these genetic variations are not yet known.

Hereditary cancer is a cancer that has developed as a result of a gene mutation passed down from a parent to a child. Inheriting a gene mutation does not necessarily mean that person will develop cancer, but increases their risk factor. These are cancers that are associated with a change in a single cancer susceptibility gene (like BRCA1 or BRCA2). These genes account for a very small percentage of all cancers. In fact, only 5-10% of breast and colon cancer cases are caused by changes in a single gene. Although everyone who carries a change in a cancer susceptibility gene does not get cancer, the risk is increased greatly, usually to 50% or higher. These types of genetic changes are passed on in an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern in families. This means that each child of an individual that carries a gene change in a hereditary cancer susceptibility gene has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene change. Many people mistakenly think that the risk of cancer is always passed on through families as a single "cancer gene". However, like other complex diseases, changes in many genes that each plays a role in the development of cancer are much more likely to be the cause of familial cancer than a change in a single gene. The testing that is provided as part of participation in the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative™ study will look at gene changes that contribute to an individual's risk of cancer but WILL NOT look for single genes, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, known to cause hereditary breast and ovarian cancers or other genes known to cause other hereditary cancer syndromes. If you believe you are at risk of a hereditary cancer syndrome please discuss this with your doctor or a genetic counselor.

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