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Things You Should Know About Family Cancer Syndrome

14 August, 2020 Kratika Saxena

A cancer syndrome or family cancer syndrome is a genetic disorder. In some cases, the risk of cancer increases in family members because they share certain behaviors or exposures, such as smoking. Some other factors can also lead to obesity which tends to run in some families.

This family cancer syndrome is because of an abnormal gene that is being passed along from generation to generation, referred to as inherited cancer. Only about 5% to 10% of all cancers result directly from gene defects (called mutations) inherited from a parent. This information is about those cancers.

Genes, Mutations, and Cancer

Cancer is a disease in which there is the growth of excess cells that are out of control. This growth of cells is because of changes in some of the genes inside cells. Genes are pieces of DNA that control how cells make the proteins the body needs to function, as well as how cells are kept in balance. Genes are related to hair color, eye color, and height. Genes can be the reason of getting diseases like cancer.

An abnormal change in a gene is called a mutation, it affects its functions. Mutations can cause problems inside the cell.

Gene mutations are of 2 types inherited or acquired

  • An inherited gene mutation is present in the egg or sperm cell that helps in forming the child. Fertilized egg creates a cell that divides many times and becomes a baby. Since all the cells come from this first cell, and the same passes on to the next generation
  • An acquired (somatic) mutation starts in one cell and passes on to any new cells that are created from that cell. It does not come from a parent. This kind of mutation is not present  in the cells of egg or sperm, so it does not pass on to the next generation

What you need to know about this syndrome

Cancers in a family are strongly linked to an inherited gene mutation that is part of a family cancer syndrome, it is found in fewer cases. 3MEDS Anti-cancer medicine supplier Delhi has found certain things which will help in recognizing the cancer is caused by a family cancer syndrome are- 

  • Many cases found of the same type of cancer 

  • Colon cancer- Cancers occurring at younger ages than usual
  • Breast cancer and ovarian -More than one  type of cancer in a single person Kidney, eyes, breast cancer- Cancers occurring in both of a pair of organs Childhood cancer in siblings 
  • Breast cancer in men - Cancer occurring in the sex
  • Cancer occurring in many generations 

Cancer in a close relative, like a parent or sibling (brother or sister), have more chances of the causes of cancer as compared to that of a distant relative. In the case of gene mutation chances of getting passed to distant relatives are less. 

Types of Family Cancer syndrome

There are many family cancer syndromes, Here is the list-

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) syndrome

In some families, many women suffer from breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer, found in women who are younger than the usual age these cancers are found. Some women might have cancer in both breast and ovarian cancer as well.  This is known as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome (HBOC).

Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer)

The other type of inherited syndrome that increases a person’s risk for colon cancer is Lynch syndrome also called hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). These cancers develop in people of age below 50.

Lynch syndrome increases the risk of endometrial cancer (cancer in the lining of the uterus), as well as cancers of the ovary, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, kidney, brain, ureters and bile duct.

Li-Fraumeni syndrome

Li-Fraumeni syndrome is a very rare inherited syndrome that develops in people of young age. When the number of cancers develops in body including sarcoma (such as osteosarcoma and soft-tissue sarcomas), leukemia, brain (central nervous system) cancers, cancer of the adrenal cortex and breast cancer.

Genetic Counseling And Testing

People with a strong family history of cancer, they have to plan their health care for the future. By genetic testing done in blood or saliva, this syndrome can be recognized. Still, genetic testing is not helpful for everyone, so your genetic counselor will recommend you the tight testing.

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