Genetics: Other Cancers
The Genetics of Prostate Cancer
The majority of cases of prostate cancer are sporadic, which means that one person in the family developed prostate cancer by chance at a typical age for this cancer. In these cases, other male relatives have little to no increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
The Genetics of Lung Cancer
Ninety percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking, but not everyone who smokes will develop lung cancer. Researchers believe that normal genetic variations, known as polymorphisms, may make some people more likely to develop lung cancer if they smoke.
The Genetics of Skin Cancer
Up to half of all Americans 65 and older will have at least one bout of skin cancer. The most common types of skin cancer in the United States are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. These are generally the result of sun exposure.
Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC)
This rare type of thyroid cancer has several forms, depending on the mutations that cause it. Most cases of medullary thyroid cancer, though, are sporadic—they occur without any family history of thyroid cancer.
Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome
VHL is a rare genetic disorder marked by an increased risk of developing benign tumors in the brain, spine, retina, and adrenal gland, and cancerous tumors in the kidney.