Protect Offspring From Possible Predisposition
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YES. Because Like All Cancers, Pancreatic Cancer Can Be Inherited.
Cancers are caused by gene mutations. A gene mutation occurs when something has gone wrong with one or more genes within a cell. The mutation is a change in the DNA sequencing in a cell resulting in
replication during cell division.
Normal functioning cells grow, divide, and die. Cancer cells (abnormal cells) do not die. Instead cancer cells continue to multiply to form to progressively enlarge malignant tumors. Some of those cells break away and spread to other parts of the body through the blood system or lymph system.
It is important to note that Pancreatic Cancer is not a gene mutation. It is a deadly disease of the
pancreas which is caused by a gene mutation. Most mutations result when cells become abnormal
during the normal process of normal dividing.
“Some studies show that about 15% of pancreatic cancer cases are hereditary meaning that the particular gene mutation that caused the pancreatic cancer could also become hereditary. If a genetic test shows that some offspring children and other blood relatives could be carriers of the same gene mutation could predispose them to developing pancreatic cancer. A surveillance program could be created to monitor the detection of pancreatic cancer as early as possible when it would most treatable.”
Gene Mutations and Syndromes Linked To Pancreatic Cancer
There are many types of gene mutations and syndromes which can contain multiple types of gene
mutations. Most mutations are generally specific to a particular type of cancer or certain groups
of cancers but would also be a link to pancreatic cancer.
> BRCA 1 and BRCA 2
Usually associated with breast and ovarian cancer. BRCA 2 can increase risk of pancreatic cancer
risk 3 to 10-fold versus the general population. BRCA 1 mutation only causes a slight risk.
> FAMM Familial Atypical Multiple Melanoma Syndrome
Caused by mutations in the p16/CDKN2A Gene. Can increase pancreatic risk 13 to 22-fold versus
the general population.
> Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome
Caused by abnormalities in the STK Gene. Can increase pancreatic cancer risk by 30-fold versus
the general population.
> Lynch Syndrome
Caused by mutations in the MLH1 or MSH2 Genes. Also known as Hereditary Non-Polyposis
Colon Cancer (HNPCC). Can increase risk of pancreatic cancer 18-fold versus the general population.
> PALB2 Gene Mutations
Associated with female breast cancer with a small risk of male breast cancer. The elevated risk is magnified
where there is a family history of pancreatic cancer.
> Li-Fraumini Syndrome
Linked to several gene mutations, most commonly a mutation in the TP53 Gene. Most associated with
female breast cancer. Also has an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
> Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP Gene)
Generally associated with colorectal cancers where a person could develop over 100 colon polyps. Most
people are diagnosed with this gene at an early age before 36. Increases the risk of pancreatic cancer as
well as stomach and intestinal cancer.
Up to 10% of pancreatic ductal adenocarconoma occur in families with multiple cases. The ATN Gene is
described as a pancreatic cancer predisposition gene.
> KRAS Mutations
This mutation is found in nearly all pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cancer (PDAC). The National Cancer
Institute identifies KRAS as one of four major priorities for pancreatic cancer research.
> Hereditary Chronic Pancreatitis
It is a rarely inherited condition but has a 50% lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer. It is usually caused by
> Inherited Cystic Fibrosis
To be born with cystic fibrosis, and infant must inherit one defective CF gene from both parents. Inheriting
just one would make the infant a carrier, but would never develop CF, but would be at great risk of getting
chronic pancreatitis which has a lifetime 50% risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Speak With Your Doctor About Genetic Counseling and Genetic Testing
It is crucial for a pancreatic cancer patient to know if a particular gene mutation caused the cancer.
An offspring child and possibly other blood-family relatives could be carriers of a suspected gene
mutation. Depending upon the level of risk, a monitoring surveillance program can be implemented
to catch any resulting inherited pancreatic cancer at its earliest stage when it is most treatable.
Why Genetic Testing is So Crucial To Hereditary Gene Mutation Carriers
1. Hereditary Predisposition Risk To Blood Family Members.
2. When the pancreatic cancer is diagnosed while the cancer is confined to the pancreas, the
average 5-year survival rate is about 44% (2022)
3. When the cancer has spread to distant organs, the average 5-year survival rate plummets
to only about 3%. (2022)