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Updated: 10/08/2017 08:30:00AM

Understanding family cancer syndromes

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Few, if any, families have not been affected by cancer. While no individual or family is immune to cancer, some families may be more at risk of developing certain types of cancer than others.

In many instances, cancers that run in families can be linked to behaviors that families share. For example, families that smoke tobacco may be more vulnerable to cancer than those that don’t, as the smoke from tobacco is known to contain dozens of carcinogens. Cancer can affect multiple generations even in families in which only one person smokes, as exposure to secondhand smoke also increases cancer risk.

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