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Does pancreatic cancer run in families?

Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery

Pancreatic cancer certainly runs in families and there are specific syndromes such as: hereditary pancreatitis, BRCA2 gene mutations, hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer syndrome (HNPCC), and others. If you have greater than two first degree relatives with the diagnosis, that also lends suspicion and consideration to early screening.

Some conditions that cause an increased risk of pancreatic cancer do run in families. These include hereditary conditions that affect the pancreas, such as hereditary pancreatitis; conditions that affect the endocrine system, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome; and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer, also known as Lynch syndrome. In addition, hereditary conditions, such as von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, ataxia-telangiectasia, and atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome, may make some people more likely to get pancreatic cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.