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Cancer Syndromes

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.