Hereditary cancer: Why detection is crucial


Abstract


Although just 1% of cancer cases can be considered hereditary, there are currently over 200 described syndromes characterised by familial aggregation of various tumour types. During the twentieth century, many of the genes underlying these syndromes have been identified, leading to a breakthrough in the management of affected families when it comes to identifying whether individuals are at risk or not, and establishing specific preventive measures. However, there is a high percentage of inherited cases for which the cause of predisposition is unknown, making the search for new genes, using the newly available technology, a research priority.


Keywords


hereditary cancer; inheritance patterns; BRCA1; BRCA2; hereditary ovarian and breast cancer syndrome

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