What genes tell us about the risk of developing cancer

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society, cancer accounts for about 1 in 6 deaths worldwide – more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. The report states that by 2040, the global burden is expected to reach 27.5 million new cancer cases and 16.2 million cancer deaths. A WHO estimate in 2018 projected that 1 in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime and 1in 15 will die of the disease.

About 5-10% of all cancers are hereditary and occur due to inheritance of a genetic variation/mutation within families, especially in close family members. Examples of such hereditary cancer syndromes, also called familial cancer syndromes, are hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, and Lynch syndrome.

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