What are cancer syndromes?
A cancer syndrome is a group of cancers that are seen together in individuals and their families. A cancer syndrome is a genetic condition. This means that the cancer risk and other symptoms of the syndrome can be passed down from generation to generation.
Some clues that suggest a cancer syndrome:
- Two or more relatives with the same type of cancer on the same side of the family
- Cancer diagnosed at an early age
- More than one cancer in the same person
- Cluster of cancers seen in the cancer syndrome, such as breast and ovarian
- A rare cancer, such as sarcoma, seen in two or more family members
Meeting with a genetic counselor can help you to understand if cancers in your family are cancer syndromes.