Familial Connections Could Explain Some Leukemias

When it comes to cancer, we are always trying to determine what causes it, right? Well, it looks like your family history can sometimes explain what binds cancer cases together. Did you know that up to 10% of all cancer cases can be traced back to gene mutations and inherited cancer syndromes passed down from generation to generation? Yes, it’s true.

 

When it comes to research, scientists are unearthing new facts every day. Now they have discovered a connection in one specific cancer – Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia or CLL – which is the most common in adults. In fact, genetic research studies in this regard can help doctors predict a candidate’s potential genetic predisposition towards developing cancer. When it comes to lymphoma diagnosis in Pune, Onco-Care Cancer Centre is already considering this line of study.

 

Let’s understand CLL better: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or CLL occurs to people mostly in their 60s and 70s and cases have rapidly grown over the years. So what is it, you ask? Well, CLL is a kind of blood cancer that forms in lymphocytes, which are white blood cells found in bone marrow. As the body makes more mutated lymphocytes, they overcrowd the healthy blood cells, thereby causing symptoms to the human body that make it difficult to fight infection. Over a period of time, the cancer can spread to areas like the spleen, liver and lymph nodes too.

 

What does the treatment entail? As the C in the CLL denotes, this is chronic cancer which means that it grows slowly and may not require treatment for several years. Over time, the treatments suggested for it include radiation therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and stem cell transplant, amongst others. Lymphoma treatment in Pune is highly recommended, especially if you are consulting with Onco-Care Cancer Centre, one of the most reputed cancer specialist hospitals in the city.

 

Heredity has a role to play in CLL: There is evidence to suggest that inherited changes or mutations in a gene called POT1 cause higher risks for CLL, melanoma, and brain tumors. It is also highly possible that additional genes that imply a risk for CLL may be unearthed in the future. One thing is for sure: Onco-Care Cancer Centre’s Research and Diagnosis Wing is always at the forefront of pioneering research, when it comes to Lymphoma Diagnosis in Pune.

 

CLL and the risks it holds: Well, as with many types of cancer, the greatest risk factor for CLL is age. But now research suggests something else – that if you have a relative who has been diagnosed with the disease, there could be a potential risk and connection. One must also factor in the number of relatives and their age, of course, and also where the family lives and environmental factors there. So it comes down to this – the closer the blood relationship, the greater the chances of inherited risk. It goes without saying then, that several patients rely on Onco-Care Cancer Centre when it comes to first-rate and accurate Lymphoma diagnosis and treatment in Pune.

 

One must also remember that family risks increase greatly with each additional first-degree relative who has the disease. For example, if the average person has a 0.4% chance of developing CLL, it increases to 2.15% if he or she has one first-degree relative like a parent, sibling or child who has been diagnosed with CLL. And it increases to 8.6% if two or more first-degree relatives have been diagnosed.

It’s all a matter of degrees: You must study your family history carefully to understand the risk of cancer. The questions you should get answers to include:

  • Which relative/s of mine have got cancer?
  • How close a relative are they?
  • What kind of cancer did they have?
  • At what age did they get diagnosed?
  • Have any of my relatives gotten a gene test done or seen a counselor?

You must also remember that the closer you are to the family member diagnosed with CLL, the higher your risk. The first-degree family consists of parents, siblings, and children. Second-degree consists of aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews, and half-siblings. Third-degree consists of great-grandparents, great-grandchildren, great-uncles, great-aunts, and first cousins.

Here’s how to deal with CLL:  Just because you have an inherited cancer gene or a family history doesn’t mean you’ll get cancer. But it does increase the chances, for sure. Be wise and educate yourself on the disease’s symptoms. Also, talk with your doctor about options for  Lymphoma Diagnosis in Pune and Lymphoma Treatment in Pune.  The doctors at Onco-Care Cancer Centre, Pune can tell you about the possible benefits of genetic testing and annual blood work as a screening tool.