Margaret A. Tempero, MD, director, Pancreas Center, University of California, San Francisco, discusses the two main types of hereditary pancreatic cancer.
Some types of hereditary pancreatic cancer can be defined by a genetic alteration, such as the BRCA
mutation syndromes or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndromes. However, there are also patients that do not have a known genetic determinant but yet pancreatic cancer still seems to run in the family.
If an individual has one affected first-degree relative, their risk goes up, Tempero says. The risk continues to increase as the number of first-degree relatives diagnosed with pancreatic cancer increases. Tempero says there are a number of these families that are being followed. It is likely, Tempero says, that each family has a different genetic reason for getting this cancer. Therefore, there is not a common genetic mutation and each family needs to be investigated separately.
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