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Cancer Genetics

Teenagers and Cancer

09/14/2004

Question:

Can teenagers get cancer?

Answer:

Teenagers can get cancer, but it is still pretty unlikely.  The chance for someone to develop any kind of cancer in his or her teenage years is about 0.17%; this means that about 1.7 teenagers per thousand teenagers may develop cancer.  Most cancers do not have a clear "cause" but in some families cancer may be caused by a hereditary factor and inherited like many other traits.  There are specific cancers that one finds in these families. 

If you think you may have cancer, you should contact your doctor and discuss this with him or her.  If you think cancer is hereditary in your family, you can find the name of a genetic cancer specialist by going the website of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.  Their website is: http://www.nsgc.org/  

Related Resources:

National Society of Genetic Counselors

For more information:

Go to the Cancer Genetics health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Duane D Culler, PhD, MS Duane D Culler, PhD, MS
Clinical Instructor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University