Cancer and genetics

Usually, cancer is not inherited, not even when there are several people in your family who all suffer from cancer. Only 5 to 10% of all cancers are inherited. However, our understanding of genetic mutations that increase a person’s susceptibility to cancer is increasing continuously. The majority of cancers are caused by a combination of genetic and other factors such as smoking and other lifestyle habits.
 
Young age (under 35) and close relatives over several generations having the same type of cancer are characteristics which suggest that cancer is inherited.
 
If you suspect your cancer is inherited, discuss it with your physician who can best assess the need for further investigations, including a detailed familial study and gene tests. If your physician believes there is a risk that your cancer is inherited, you will be referred to genetic tests. Geneticists’ appointments are at HUCH Skin and Allergy Hospital.