Sporadic vs. Hereditary Cancer

Genetics of Cancer:

Sporadic Cancer:
Most cancers develop due to genetic damage we sustain over a lifetime. When genes acquire defects that impact the cells ability to grow and divide properly tumors form. Cancers that occur due to genetic changes we acquire over time are considered to be sporadic. Approximately 70-80% of all cancer is considered to be sporadic.

Family Clusters of Cancer:
Cancer that occurs in families more often than what would be expected by chance is considered a familial cancer cluster. Familial clusters have been reported for many types of cancer and are believed to be due to a combination of risk factors which include inherited susceptibility, environmental factors and chance.

Hereditary Cancer:
Cancer that results form genetic changes that are passed on from one generation to the next is considered hereditary. Approximately 5 - 10% of all cancers fall into this category.