Am I at more risk if my relatives have cancer?



To a certain extent. Cancer begins with a faulty gene that can be inherited. A study has shown that family history is a crucial risk factor. However, parents with certain cancers put children more at risk than relatives. Another study suggests that most people who have relatives with certain cancers may never inherit the faulty cancerous gene. Having a few relatives with certain cancers does not mean that the faulty gene is running within the family. 

Certain factors such as types of cancer, age at the time of diagnosis, relatives who had cancer and how closely these relatives are related to you, can help with deciding whether you are at a greater risk of certain cancers. 

In general, more relatives with the same type of cancer and diagnosed young around the same age are strong determinants of cancer running within the family. Some other determinants of cancer in the family are certain cancers at a young age, close relatives getting cancer, the same gene causing cancer within relatives, or one relative having a faulty gene. In conclusion, if someone in your family had cancer, it does not mean you will definitely get cancer. But family history can put you at a greater risk of developing certain cancers as compared to other people.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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