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What Is Hereditary Cancer Syndrome?

What is Hereditary Cancer Syndrome?

Cancer is a common disease in which cells grow out of control and crowd out healthy cells. It can start in the lungs, breast, colon, skin, and even the blood, spreading to other parts of the body. 

Hereditary cancer syndrome is an inherited disorder in which an individual has a higher-than-normal risk of developing certain types of cancer. A study has explained that “hereditary cancer syndrome is present when a person, because of an inherited mutation, has an increased risk of developing certain tumors, which can develop at a relatively early age.” 

There are many risk factors that can play a role in hereditary cancer syndrome, such as obesity, which tends to run in some families.

How to recognize hereditary cancer syndrome: 

As mentioned above, cancer is a very common disease with worldwide impact. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 38.4% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. 

The risk for developing hereditary cancers is higher for families who:

  • Have a member with rare or early-onset cancers
  • Have many family members that are diagnosed with the same type of cancer
  • Have a member diagnosed with more than 10 colon polyps
  • Have a member with multiple cancers at one time
  • Have a member with an inherited mutation
  • Are of Eastern European Jewish descent
  • Have a member diagnosed at any age with breast, ovarian or pancreatic cancer

It is crucial to identify if you are at risk of hereditary cancer syndrome. Genetic testing is a great way to clarify the cancer risks for other relatives. Testing can effectively rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on hereditary cancer syndrome. 

For those individuals who are at a greater risk of developing cancer in their lifetime, UNIFONTIS offers preventative cancer vaccines to help avoid a cancer diagnosis altogether. To schedule a consultation with the medical director at UNIFONTIS, email us at

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