Cancer is not usually acquired, however some types, mainly breast, ovarian, intestines and prostate cancer, can be strongly affected by genetics and can run in families. If they become modified, brca1 and BRCA2 are examples of genetics that increase your cancer risk. Having an alternative BRCA gene significantly increases a woman's chance of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. BRCA genes are not the only cancer risk genes. Speak with a GP if cancer runs in your family and you're worried you may get it too. They might refer you to a local genetics service for an NHS hereditary test, which will tell you if you have acquired one of the cancer risk genes. You may be eligible for this NHS test if the defective gene has currently been determined in among your family members, or if there is a strong family background of cancer in your family. Not everyone who is qualified for the NHS test will intend to have it.
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