Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

Understanding Cancer Series

  • Posted: 01/28/2005
  • Reviewed: 09/01/2006

Slide 36

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Prevalence and Founder Effect

Some populations have a higher prevalence of specific cancer-associated alleles than others. This may result from a founder effect, which occurs when a population undergoes rapid shrinkage and then expansion in an isolated setting. In a population that is geographically or reproductively isolated, an individual called a founder carries or develops a germline mutation that is rare in the general population.

Prevalence and Founder Effect