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Dr Veda

“Is cancer hereditary? “”All cancers are genetic but not all cancers are hereditary”” says Dr Veda Padma Priya, Senior Consultant, Breast Oncology and Oncoplasty. Yes, cancer is due to genetic changes, but that doesn’t generally mean it’s inherited.

Although cancer is common, only 5% of it is hereditary, meaning an individual has inherited an increased risk for cancer from one of their parents. This inherited risk for cancer is caused by a small change (called a mutation) in a gene, which can be passed from one generation to the next in a family. The remaining 95% is not hereditary. Most of the time, there is a confusion when people hear that cancer is caused due to genes and they assume it’ll be passed down to their children. This is not true.

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