Is cancer genetic?


Quick Answer

Most types of cancers are not genetic. According to the American Cancer Society, only 5 to 10 percent stem from direct genetic mutations or defects. Every person has two sets of genes, one from each parent, and cancer only requires one mutated gene to be present.

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Full Answer

Even with a single parent having a mutated gene that is passed on via sperm or eggs, this does not mean a child develops cancer later in life, notes Coriell Personalized Medical Collaborative. With mutated genes present, it is simply an increased risk factor. Discuss preventative measures with a primary care physician to help decrease the risk of receiving a cancer diagnosis.

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