• Familial Cancer Risk Assessment Center

    Welcome to the Familial Cancer Risk Assessment Center 

    The Familial Cancer Risk Assessment Center at Lahey Clinic was created to provide comprehensive risk assessment and management recommendations to individuals with significant personal and/or family histories of cancer.

    It is estimated that one out of every three Americans will develop cancer sometime during their lifetime. While it is difficult to determine the exact cause of cancer in an individual, the majority of cancer is thought to be due to a combination of factors such as chance events, the aging process, or environmental exposures. About 5 to 10 percent of cancer cases are caused by a hereditary predisposition that is passed on within a family.

    Inherited factors (genes) play an important role in many cancers. We know of several genes that are associated with an increased chance of developing certain types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, colon, and uterine cancer, to name a few. Features that are suggestive of a hereditary predisposition to cancer include the following:

    • Multiple family members affected with the same cancer (such as breast cancer) or related cancers (such as breast and ovarian cancer, or colon and uterine cancer)
    • Earlier than average ages of diagnosis
    • Multiple primary cancers in the same individual (such as cancer in both breasts)
    • Cancer occurring in multiple generations

    We encourage you to explore this site to learn more about hereditary cancer predisposition and the services we provide. The following brochures may also help you to determine if you are at risk for hereditary cancer: 

     Hereditary Breast Cancer
     Hereditary Colon Cancer 

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