Genetic predisposition is associated with between five and ten percent of all new cases of cancer that are diagnosed each year in Spain - around 162,000. However, although the genetic inheritance of a person increases their chances of developing a malignant tumor, as explained by Dr. Raquel Bratos, medical oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid, it is a pathology involving a multitude of variables, and lifestyle, type of diet and infections are risk factors for cancer that significantly influence the onset of the disease.

The types of cancer that have the greatest genetic burden of a transmissible nature are colon cancer and breast cancer. In the case of colorectal cancer, about 25% of those affected have another relative with the disease, and between 10 and 15 percent of the cases present a hereditary component. Also between 5 and 10% of cases of breast cancer are related to mutations in genes specific for susceptibility to this type of cancer.

The types of cancer that have a greater genetic burden of transmissible character are colon cancer and breast cancer

Some signs, such as the existence of many cases in the same family -especially if they have been diagnosed at an early age-, or when there are several cancerous processes in the same family member, or if it is a bilateral cancer process -two peer organs affected , for example both kidneys or both breasts-, could indicate the possible existence of a hereditary predisposition to cancer.

Although this does not imply that you will have cancer, the specialist explains that people with this family history, can go to a Cancer Genetic Counsel Unit to receive detailed information. In this way, the patient can reduce their level of anxiety, an early diagnosis is favored, and recommendations and specific preventive measures appropriate to their particular case can be offered.

Source: MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid

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