Cancer occurs when there are abnormalities in genes called ‘mutations’, which can be passed from parents to children where the normal Cancer Which are caused by genetic variations. Breast, prostate, ovaries and colon However, not everyone with these mutations gets cancer. Mutated genes can remain inactive for years and sometimes a lifetime, or they can be passed down from one generation and emerge later in the next. For example, although mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that cause breast cancer Can be passed down through generations in a family. , only 50% of women with this mutation actually develop breast cancer.
Causes and Risks:
Can you inherit cancer? Yes, you can as research shows that certain cancers can run in families and this understanding came when the ‘genetic’ origin of cancer was discovered. Overall, about 5-10% of all cancers are caused by hereditary mutations while the remaining cancers are caused by mutations that occur during a person’s lifetime, which are caused by risk factors such as smoking, radiation exposure. Exposure to UV rays, certain chemicals and pollution can occur for no known reason.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Minnu Walia, Senior Director and HOD, Medical Oncology and Hematology at Max Super Specialty Hospitals Patparganj, Vaishali and Noida, explained that family members are often exposed to behaviors like smoking. Share samples. They are also commonly exposed to pollution and other environmental factors. These are some other reasons why cancer sometimes runs in the family.
He shared, “While it’s true that not everyone with a genetic mutation will develop cancer, such individuals are still at the highest risk. Having a family member who has or has had cancer increases this genetic risk. Necessary measures should be taken for verification.
According to health experts, we now have the ability to determine this risk through a simple blood test. “These relevant ‘genetic tests’ can detect whether a person has inherited these mutations. So an individual with a first-degree family member such as a mother, father, brother or sister,” revealed Dr. Menuwalia. Those who have been diagnosed with cancer should consider these tests.It is also recommended that people who have the same type of cancer in their extended family or family members who had a type of cancer at a young age. Diagnosed or known family members with inherited mutations should undergo this test.
She added, “Any discussion of cancer is fraught with anxiety, so it is advisable to see a genetic counselor before undergoing these tests and if the results are of concern, to decide Continue counseling on what action to take. A negative gene result eliminates all concerns. A positive or inconclusive test result means the person has an increased risk of cancer. The mutation identified in the tests “Depending on the type of cancer, oncologists can offer different options to reduce the risk.”
Treatment and prevention tips:
Referring to mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, women with these inherited mutations have the option of having both breasts, fallopian tubes, and ovaries removed to prevent breast and uterine cancer. “Research shows that such procedures are an effective prevention tool, although doctors or people at risk, especially those who want to have children They are yet to be accepted globally.”
Another measure he suggested is ‘chemo prevention’. He explained, “This includes the prophylactic use of cancer treatment drugs in the presence of genetic mutations. Research in this area is ongoing and there is currently no solid evidence to support it.
He suggested that lifestyle changes such as weight control and smoking cessation may also help reduce the risk of cancer in people who have inherited mutations. “Until and until research shows us more definitive ways to address the genetic risk of cancer, people should be encouraged to go for regular screening to catch cancer early,” insisted Dr. Menno Walia. Today, advanced treatment options are also accessible that increase the chances of survival if treatment is started at an early stage. BRCA1 and BRCA2 For women with the mutation, regular mammography is recommended to detect breast cancer before any symptoms appear.”
Science is constantly unraveling the mysteries of cancer, one of the most feared diseases because it is considered incurable. It is important for people to understand the meaning of genetic risk and check whether they should be concerned about it because of their family history. The best advice for people who have this concern is to go for regular screening and consider genetic testing.