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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Pancreatic Cancer

Question: How much of a familial link is related to this cancer?

 dacubster - Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:58 pm

Hi there,

I have a pretty basic question. My mom's father (my grandfather) has been afflicted for many years with pancreatic cancer, which began in his 70s. 3 of his brothers, a sister and his mother all died of this illness. Currently none of his children or grandchildren have the disease. My question is though is how likely is this disease to be passed on to family members? Are there tests us grandchildren or our parents should have and is there an age range when this type of cancer particularly hits?

Thank you.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:39 pm

User avatar Actually this isn't a basic question. Much of our knowledge about 'familial' pancreatic is lacking. It's known that 10% of patients have the inherited form.

Although the genes contributing to pancreatic cancer have been studied well, the degree of contribution of each one is not well known and as such we cannot use them as screening or diagnostic tools. You should consult your grandfather's oncologist who would have a precise history of the possible contributing factors and whether indeed it was the inherited form that he was diagnosed with. Alcohol and tobacco are among the most important risk factors and these common habits can contribute.

Finally, I would refer you to a paper published in the medical journal Gastroenterology: click here

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