Cancer Council Australia

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Family cancers



It is not uncommon for more than one member of a family to have cancer. Cancer can occur in families:

  • just by chance (mostly the case)
  • because family members have environmental and lifestyle influences in common (eg. too much sun or smoking)
  • because there is an inherited faulty gene causing an increased chance of cancer (uncommon)

Trying to find information about cancers in your family and how to deal with them can be difficult. The following pages provide simple information about what it means to have a family history of cancer, some different types of family cancers and who you can contact for further information.

The information contained in this section should not be used for individual medical advice. Please see your doctor if you have concerns or specific questions relating to your health.


This page was last updated on: Wednesday, September 5, 2012