Wednesday, 8 August 2007

People are worrying unnecessarily about hereditary cancer

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According to Cancerbackup, a UK-based cancer charity, people are worrying unnecessarily about hereditary cancer because they do not realize that only a small number of cancers are hereditary and 90 percent of cancers occur by chance.

In a Cancerbackup poll, 91 percent of respondents believed that if one of their relatives had cancer they are at a greater risk that average of getting cancer. According to Cancerbackup, for a majority of cases, this would not increase an individual's risk. In addition, 60 percent of respondents incorrectly thought that family history was the biggest risk factor for cancer and only 15 percent knew it is actually age.

The aim of the survey was to put genetic risk in perspective and motivate people to lower their risk via behaviors that they actually have control over.
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