cancers that are hereditary and how can that effect me?

Question by Lori M: cancers that are hereditary and how can that effect me?
Here is a list of Cancer in my family:

Pancreatic cancer: Mom’s dad
Rectal cancer: Female Cousin (mom’s sister’s daughter)
Intestinal cancer: Uncle (dad’s brother)
Kidney cancer: Mom’s mother
Bladder cancer: Aunt (dad’s sister)
Neck cancer: Aunt (mom’s sister)

What gene is more dominate, does it matter what side it comes from, does it skip a generation etc. or is it just a coincident that these family members just got cancer.

Best answer:

Answer by lo_mcg
Fewer than 10% of all cancer cases are hereditary.

Cancer diagnosed after the age of 50 is even less likely to be hereditary.

You don’t inherit a general tendency to get cancer; there’s no general ‘cancer gene’.

A sign that cancer MIGHT (only might) be hereditary within a family is when several members of the SAME SIDE of that family have had the SAME TYPE of cancer, especially if some developed it at a younger than usual age.

Several second degree relatives having had different types of cancer is coincidence and has no implications for you.

With one in three women and one in two men developing cancer over a lifetime of around 80 years, it would be a rare family that had no members who had had cancer, especially among its older members.

Two of my grandparents, both my parents, my aunt, my uncle and two cousins had cancer. No members of my immediate or extended family has ever been considered at increased risk of any of the cancers they had. Of my parents’ six children (all now aged from 50 – early 60s), I am the only one who has had cancer, and mine too was non-hereditary and unrelated to theirs

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1 Comment
  1. Reply
    imperialpoetpurple May 13, 2013 at 10:40 am

    There are a lot of ‘unknowns.’ Also, one runs into another statistic that displaces the immediate threat to some degree ie. the fact that about 50% of all men in the USA die from cancer and that 1/3 of all women will have a cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes… Still, cancer is not the leading cause of death; heart disease is #1.

    I have mixed feelings. My Kidney Cancer is a bit of a mystery ie. roughly 80% of all cases will have some problem with the VHL gene. My grandfather had two brothers who had Kidney problems – one had a nephrechtomy waaaay back in 1928, and one had only one functional Kidney. Also on that side of the family there is a history of gout, lung cancer and colon cancer – so I’m of course suspicious…that there is a hereditary/genetic connection…

    I’m an ex-smoker, so my smoking history definitly puts me at risk ie. half of Kidney cancer patients have a significant smoking history Smoking gets blamed for everything and deserves its bad reputation – but sometimes I think it gets a bit overstated because cancer is more than just an appendage to a smoking history. For example, 15% of all lung cancers are occurances among nonsmokers.

    There are a lot of unknowns. One little fact that surprises me a bit in regard to kidney cancer is that moderate drinkers have lower incidences of kidney cancers than do teetotlers. I had a dachshund who had kidney problems, but we were not blood related…

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