Together we will beat cancer



13 Jan 2021 20:09

I lost my 2 sisters through cancer 1 age 10 in 1973 back then cancer was cancer was just known as child cancer, unsure of what kind other than she had a tumour behind her ear, my other sister died just couple years ago age 59, pancreatic cancer, whats the liklihood of me having it


14 Jan 2021 10:35 in response to Bevp66

Hello and thanks for posting

I am sorry to hear you lost both of your sisters to cancer and appreciate why you are now wondering about your own risk.

When cancer is in the family, people often assume that this greatly increases their risk of developing it, but this isn't necessarily so. Although the genes we inherit may influence our risk, this may not be by very much. No one is risk free and the risk of cancer increases for all of us as we get older. This is quite a complicated topic and it might be useful to look at our section explaining genes and inherited cancer risk at this link.

Cancer is described as a genetic disease because it is caused by mistakes or faults in the genes of in a single cell. But in most cases of cancer, these gene faults develop over someone's lifetime and are not inherited. Faulty cancer genes can be passed from one generation to the next, but they are uncommon.

Genetic testing is only usually offered to people with a strong family history, as this predicts who is most likely to have inherited a cancer gene fault. A strong family history is usually 2 first degree relatives (mum/dad/sister/brother) with the same type of cancer so unless your parents had one of these cancer types as well your risk may not be increased.

So sometimes, the risk of cancer, can be increased with a family history, but this might not be by enough to warrant genetic testing or additional screening. This is something that your GP can advise you about so do discuss it with them when you have the chance.

I hope this is helpful

Best wishes



15 Jan 2021 06:03 in response to CRUK Nurse Naomi

Thank you for your info x