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“Catching Cancer: Is It Possible ?”

You can catch a cold or the flu but can you catch cancer? First, we know that cancer can run in families. A 2013 study in Annals of Oncology on over 23,000 people, found that for each of 13 cancers, close relatives had an increased risk of the same disease.  Second, there was evidence that a family history of one cancer could significantly raise the risk of others.  In other words, having cancer in the family can increase your chances of developing not only the same cancer but other types too.  Investigators found that for each of 13 cancers, close relatives had an increased risk of the same disease.  They said, “Those closely related to someone with oral and pharyngeal cancer had a fourfold increased risk of esophageal cancer, while breast cancer doubled the risk of ovarian cancer for female family members.” People with a first-degree relative with cancer of the larynx had triple the normal risk of developing oral and pharyngeal cancer and men had a 3.4-fold increased risk of prostate cancer if a first-degree relative had bladder cancer.

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