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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can some cancers be hereditary?

    Related Topic
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Dr Sujoy Mitra

    Medical Oncologist (Cancer Specialist)

    Medical oncologist and clinical haematologist treating all malignancies apart from acute leukaemias. View Profile

    Some cancers can be more prevalent within a family history, colon cancer
    This can be caused by a number of factors. It can be because family members have certain risk factors in common, such as smoking, which can cause many types of cancer. It can also be due to health risks such as obesity, that tend to run in families and influence cancer risk.
    In some cases the cancer is caused by an abnormal gene that is being passed along from generation to generation.
    colon cancer is rare in people under 30. Having 2 or more cases in close relatives under 30 could be a sign of an inherited cancer syndrome.

  • 2


    Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile


    Thank you for your question re: cancers being hereditary.

    Yes, some cancers will be more prevalent to people if they have a family history of the cancer, such as Bowel Cancer.

    Please read the link below regarding your risk of bowel cancer (incl. Family History):

    Also please read this link regarding a family history of bowel cancer and the genetic inheritance specifically referring to Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Hereditary Non-Polyposis Non-Colorectal Cancer:

    Hopefully these two links will give you a better understanding of the link between bowel cancer and family history.

    Kind Regards,
    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Adviser

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only. It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder.

    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor.

    Bowel Cancer Australia, its directors, officers or medical professionals shall not be liable to any person, company or any other body for any loss, direct or indirect or consequential on whatsoever account for any omission or negligent misstatement.

  • 3


    Dr Roger Woods

    Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Dr Woods is an accomplished Plastic Surgeon, caring for children and adults in Adelaide, who have cosmetic concerns or require reconstruction after cancer or injuries. … View Profile

    Is skin cancer hereditary?

    Melanomas (cancerous moles) definitely have a relationship to genetics -if you have a family history (a first degree relative like your mother, father, brother, sister or child) of melanoma, you are much more likely to develop this condition.  If this is the case for you (maybe your family member recently found out that they have a melanoma), you should arrange a skin check with your general practitioner.  Most general practitioners in Australia are comfortable examining the skin, otherwise they will refer you to a skin specialist, such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

    Other skin cancers, including basal cell and squamous cell cancers, are generally more common than melanoma, and also are more common if you have a family member with one.  However the biggest risk factor for these is sun exposure -please remember to take care in the sun and use sunscreen and hats, shade, etc.

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