Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

Understanding Cancer Series

  • Posted: 12/29/2009

Slide 23

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Other Internal Factors

Clearly, other factors are involved in cancer that we still do not understand. Some families are more cancer prone than others. In part, inheritance is involved in some of these cases. This is because, at birth, some offspring unknowingly inherit gene changes that can make them more susceptible to cancer. But this explains only a very small percent of new cancer cases, no more than 5 percent. Others factors that may change cancer risk include having stronger or weaker immune systems, variations in detoxifying enzymes or repair genes, or differences in hormone levels.

Graphic shows how sometimes other factors like stronger or weaker immune systems, variations in detoxifying enzymes or repair genes, or differences in hormone levels also can contribute to a person's risk for cancer.