Genetic predisposition to cancer

Cancer is characterised by excessive and uncontrolled cell growth that invades and damages tissues and organs. It is a multi-factor illness that is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Most cancers are sporadic, but some 5 to 10% of cancer diagnoses involve a hereditary genetic origin. This means that specific genes, called cancer susceptibility genes, present germ cell abnormalities (found throughout the body) that increase the risk of developing cancer.  It's important to point out that cancer is NOT hereditary, but the predisposition to developing it is. Having genes that are associated with cancer susceptibility simply means you have a higher risk of having the disease, not that you will have cancer for sure. This genetic predisposition can be transmitted from parents to offspring, normally following an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern, meaning that there is a 50% chance of passing the gene to descendants. In some cases, the genetic susceptibility is individual and caused by a combination of multiple genetic differences (a combination of low-risk polymorphisms or allele variants). Identifying a genetic abnormality known to increase the risk of developing cancer in a family allows its members to benefit from early cancer detection and prevention measures, as well as to seek specific, targeted treatments against that type of cancer.

Predisposició genètica al càncer
Authorship: Vall d'Hebron
Creation date: 17.12.2021, 10:03
Modification date: 31.01.2022, 13:30
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