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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is cervical cancer genetic?

    My mother had cervical cancer. Am I at a greater risk?
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    Associate Professor Stephen WeinsteinDirector of Pathology, Gold Coast Hospital Campus View Profile

    Cervical cancer is not genetic, but the question is a good one because many cancers have a genetic component. That doesn't mean they're inherited from parent to child, but they have a genetic component, meaning that they occur more frequently in families that have had those cancers. And that is the case, for example, with breast cancer. If your mother and aunt and grandmother have had breast cancer, you are at high risk. However, that is not the case with cervical cancer. That is not genetic and does not have a familial component, and the explanation for that is simple, because it is caused by an infectious organism, a virus. So the simple answer is it is not genetic.

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