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Cancer is not hereditary

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  • Cancer is not hereditary

    One of the biggest misconceptions about cancer is that it is hereditary (i.e. cancer is passed on from parents to progeny) when it is not. This confusion arises because cancer is a disease of defective genes. The fact that genes are involved does not mean that the disease can be inherited. A small snippet from today's Boston Globe addresses this issue. You can find the link here.
    "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
    11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
    12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.


  • #2
    An then there is the gene (viral infection as corrected by Fed below) associated with Cervical Cancer that can now be vaccinated against and other research on similar lines for other cancers too.

    More common in families? – (breast cancer often shows generation links) might just be locating the common link or gene for some cancers to get the answer?

    Some cancers do appear to be very lifestyle orientated too e.g. Smoking and Lung cancer with others originating from exposure to a range of substances or chemicals e.g. asbestos.

    Lots of views in the mix and this is how we get the answers.....

    Cheers

    Kiwi
    Last edited by Kiwi; 01-04-11, 02:50 AM.
    >>>>>>>>>
    TC1: May 2001 / Right orchiectomy / seminoma stage 1 / Radiation
    TC2: July 2008 / Left orchiectomy / seminoma stage 1 / X2 Prostheses / Reandron (long term Testosterone injections)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kiwi View Post
      An then there is the gene associated with Cervical Cancer that can now be vaccinated against and other research on similar lines for other cancers too.
      Cervical cancer actually arises from a viral infection. The human papilloma virus (HPV) is the known causative agent.
      "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
      11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
      12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

      Comment


      • #4
        wesmom

        I still think it's weird how my brother was born with undescended testicles and my son ended up with Testicular Cancer. My brother was more at risk than my son for TC. I just think it's odd that's all.
        Son Diagnosed 6/24/10
        Right I/O 6/28/10
        (65% Teratoma, 10% EC, 10% Yolk Sac, 10% Seminoma, 5% Choriocarcinoma)
        3XBEP 8/10-10/10
        RPLND 11/2/11 (cyst in right pelvic area was mature teratoma and lymph nodes were clear)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wesmom View Post
          I still think it's weird how my brother was born with undescended testicles and my son ended up with Testicular Cancer. My brother was more at risk than my son for TC. I just think it's odd that's all.
          I don't think it's weird or odd at all. What the article and Fed are saying is that one of the causes of TC is genetic. We know there is some association between undescended testes and TC, and that association may be a flaw carried on a gene. Most of the time, the body's defense and repair mechanisms work to keep that flaw from manifesting itself as a cancer. However, that flaw does not have to manifest itself like hair color or height, which are hereditary traits.

          I'd bet that Wes and your brother and you have that same flaw, which just means that once in a while it's going to show up.
          "Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off" - Paul Brodeur
          Diagnosis: 05Sept07 Right I/O: 13Sept07; Pure Seminoma; Surveillance only per NCCN: All Clear August2013 (CT scan, Markers)

          Comment


          • #6
            That was a nice, brief and to-the-point piece. Thanks for posting it, Fed. It brought me back to the popular confusion that is at the core of many misconceptions about the cause of any individual's cancer. To judge from the questions I've been asked, many people seem to think that cancer can only be caused by (a) hereditary factors or (b) conscious (and dangerous) lifestyle choices. I almost suspect there's a subconscious blame game going on: it's either the fault of the parents or the fault of the patient. My response is usually that the mere fact of living (that is, eating, breathing, etc.) raises the prospect of cancer such that this (a) vs (b) way of looking at cancer is simply wrong. Most cancer survivors (for example, TC survivors) were not diagnosed because they inherited a gene or because they lived life on the edge.
            TC1: 1996, right orchiectomy, seminoma stage I 3.5 cm mass, radiation therapy (peri-aortic & pelvic 27.3 Gy)
            TC2: 2008, left orchiectomy, seminoma stage IA 5 cm mass, left & right prostheses, AndroGel TRT, surveillance at MSKCC

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paul54 View Post
              ...association may be a flaw carried on a gene. Most of the time, the body's defense and repair mechanisms work to keep that flaw from manifesting itself as a cancer. However, that flaw does not have to manifest itself like hair color or height, which are hereditary traits.
              So, what is the trigger?
              Stage III. Embryonal Carcinoma, Mature Teratoma, Choriocarcinoma.
              Diagnosed 4/19/06, Right I/O 4/21/06, RPLND 6/21/06, 4xEP, All Clear 1/29/07, RPLND Incisional Hernia Surgery 11/24/08, Hydrocelectomy and Vasectomy 11/23/09.

              Please see a physician for medical advice!

              My 2013 LiveSTRONG Site
              The 2013 Already Balders

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Already Bald View Post
                So, what is the trigger?
                Aside from purely random bad luck, there are probably many possible triggers. In my case, it could be a lifetime of exposure to a variety of chemicals, many of which are halogenated organics such as PCB's, insecticides and herbicides. Could have been exposure to atmospheric atomic bomb test fallout when I was a toddler. My mother could have been any of those things before or during my development.

                Fed has made the point that very few cancers are caused by environmental exposures, notably tobacco and radiation. But that doesn't rule out the possible damage to cellular repair mechanics and immunology controls that normally keep mutations and cancer in check.
                "Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off" - Paul Brodeur
                Diagnosis: 05Sept07 Right I/O: 13Sept07; Pure Seminoma; Surveillance only per NCCN: All Clear August2013 (CT scan, Markers)

                Comment


                • #9
                  wesmom

                  Originally posted by Aegletes View Post
                  That was a nice, brief and to-the-point piece. Thanks for posting it, Fed. It brought me back to the popular confusion that is at the core of many misconceptions about the cause of any individual's cancer. To judge from the questions I've been asked, many people seem to think that cancer can only be caused by (a) hereditary factors or (b) conscious (and dangerous) lifestyle choices. I almost suspect there's a subconscious blame game going on: it's either the fault of the parents or the fault of the patient. My response is usually that the mere fact of living (that is, eating, breathing, etc.) raises the prospect of cancer such that this (a) vs (b) way of looking at cancer is simply wrong. Most cancer survivors (for example, TC survivors) were not diagnosed because they inherited a gene or because they lived life on the edge.
                  LOL. I'm sorry I just wanted to throw that post in there to get someone's input. Thanks.
                  Son Diagnosed 6/24/10
                  Right I/O 6/28/10
                  (65% Teratoma, 10% EC, 10% Yolk Sac, 10% Seminoma, 5% Choriocarcinoma)
                  3XBEP 8/10-10/10
                  RPLND 11/2/11 (cyst in right pelvic area was mature teratoma and lymph nodes were clear)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If there is a hereditary link or not I don't know but in my case for TC, only one member of my family had cancer that i am aware of ?

                    My grandfather had non hodgkins lymphoma.

                    My history is I am 48 years old, was a smoker for 30 years, I had a vasectomy at 30, about 14 years later I had a slight herniation where the scar tissue from the left testicle had fused to the wall of the scrotum, and whilst i was doing some heavy lifting it tore away from the wall causing my left testicle to swell to twice the size of the right one, went to the doctor immediately, she said to take antibiotics, and to put an ice pack to reduce the swelling which luckily it did.

                    A few years later I got married again and decided to have a vasectomy reversal, ( which was successful, he's 20 months old now) , then in late 2009 I was pushed ( by my 2 daughters from a previous marriage and my new wife) into getting a 45 > 50 year old health check which was free from the government and discovered that my PSA level ( indicator for prostate cancer) was a bit high from the previous one ( went from 1.2 > 4.2 ), so my doctor decided to get a 2nd opinion from the urologist, who was the same one who did the vasectomy reversal, he wanted to check his handy work and in doing so that is when he found the abnormality in my left testicle, after the earlier trauma to it I put it down to scar tissue ?? how wrong was I ??

                    Well thats about it, is it hereditary, was it caused by trauma, too many op's , who knows but at least now I can hope for a positive outcome and battle on.

                    Cheers.
                    Last edited by Andy B; 01-05-11, 06:33 AM.
                    Scrotal ultrasound 13th Sept 2010
                    CT Scan chest, abdomen, pelvis 18th October 2010
                    Diagnosed October 29th 2010,
                    Laft I/O October 30th 2010.
                    Mixed germ cell non seminoma, stage 2b, metastasis in lymph nodes on Aorta, kidney and oesophagus, largest being 37mm X 20mm.
                    3 X BEP started 8th November 2010.
                    Finished 5thJanuary 2011.
                    2nd Februray 2011 all clear
                    2nd February 2012 all clear

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      While not heredity, my mother almost certainly took DES while pregnant with me. She recalled taking "whatever the doctor prescribed" without knowing what it was, to prevent miscarriage. This was mid 1950's. There has been no proven link between TC & DES, but I sure wonder.....

                      Dave
                      Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
                      Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Links

                        Here is a slideshow I found

                        http://familial-testicular-cancer.ca...ularCancer.pdf

                        It's from 2005. Love how this slideshow breaks down genetics.

                        And here is one more


                        http://www.aafp.org/afp/20001101/2037.html

                        In this study you can scroll down to the footnotes when reports were made regarding the causes of tc cancer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paul54 View Post
                          Fed has made the point that very few cancers are caused by environmental exposures.
                          Sounds like the President's Cancer Panel would disagree with this notion. In their report entitled Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk they state, "The Panel was particularly concerned to find that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated."

                          Full report here: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/..._08-09_508.pdf
                          Husband Shaun diagnosed March 2010. AFP 4571, HCG 3340.
                          6cm x 6cm x 8cm retroperitoneal mass + 1cm nodule in right lung.
                          Stage IIIb, Intermediate Risk.
                          Left I/O March 9/10: 75% EC, 20% Teratoma, 5% Yolk Sac + Seminoma.
                          3xBEP + 1xEP March 15 - May 21/10: markers normal.
                          Bilateral RPLND July 28/10: 9.5 x 7 x 4.5cm mass, teratoma only.
                          Chylous Ascites Aug/Sep.
                          November 2012 All Clear
                          Continuously monitoring 0.9 x 1.7cm omental nodule (possible fat necrosis)

                          www.teamshaun.wordpress.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paul54 View Post
                            Fed has made the point that very few cancers are caused by environmental exposures, notably tobacco and radiation.
                            This is the first time I see this remark. I don't recall ever stating that few cancers are caused by environmental exposures, especially since it is flat-out wrong. I have stated that very few cancers are hereditary. Environmental exposures, especially tobacco, are responsible for many cancers, and from a mechanistic standpoint, they may very well be the trigger that sets of the cascade of reactions that lead to malignant transformation.

                            Originally posted by julesTO View Post
                            Sounds like the President's Cancer Panel would disagree with this notion. In their report entitled Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk they state, "The Panel was particularly concerned to find that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated."

                            Full report here: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/..._08-09_508.pdf
                            Very true. Just look at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD...
                            "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
                            11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
                            12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I read an article about the significance of the KITLG. This gene apparently increases a mans chance of getting tc by 4x. So that gives us a hereditary increased chance of the body going wrong but not guaranteed.

                              Btw the KITLG gene is used in pigment creation which they think could explain why black men rarely get the disease. So with TC I consider it 80% genetic and 20% lifestyle.
                              Dave Hanson
                              Found lump 18/02/2011
                              Ultrasound confirmed mass 23/02/2011
                              CT Abdomen, pelvis, chest (clear) 24/02/2011
                              Left I/O 1/03/2011
                              99% Seminoma <1% Unknown germ cell 10/03/2011
                              Staging T1 - 1A 10/03/2011

                              2 month - 27/04/2011 - All clear!
                              5 month - 16/07/2011 - All clear!
                              9 month - 22/12/2011 - All clear!
                              14 month - 22/12/2011 - All clear!


                              Yesterday was history, tommorrow a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the "present"

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