My father passed away from pancreatic cancer at age 37. It metastazied to his liver when it was caught. He was a heavy drink and used chewing tobacco often. What are the chance my sister and I will develop this form of cancer. Is it possible that this was not a type that was inherited? No other family members have been diagnosed with this type before.
Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:18
I'm sorry to hear of your father's passing. Although it is possible that his cancer was inherited, Johns Hopkins estimates that only ten percent of pancreatic cancers are inherited. They are studying the possible reasons for this, as they describe here: http://pathology.jhu.edu/pancreas/BasicHeredity.php?area=ba
Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:37
Idraehn, I'm sorry your father died of pancreatic cancer. Jim got to the answer before me using the same link. I've nothing to add but my support and condolences. I hope the rest of your family remain pancreatic cancer free. However if you're ever in need for info on the topic of treating we're here to help.
Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:24
Not that anyone deserves cancer... I'm assuming his was most likely from life style choices instead of something inheredited? And my sister and I have the same risk as the general population?
Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:30
As far as having the same risk as the general population, probably so. But with regard to your father's lifestyle choices, although they may have contributed there are many factors which can cause cancer, many of them largely out of an individual's control. When my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer, we sought to understand the cause, since she never smoked and our house had no radon problem. Eventually you accept the fact that it's a question that will never be answered.
Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:51
I agree with Jim that there is a certain amount of random bad luck that contributes to many cancers. The hard part is that you can't say "well, it won't happen to me if I just do ____ and don't do ____" and guarantee that you won't get cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is still not something any single individual has a high probability of getting. If you want to reassure yourself as much as possible, it might be worth seeing a genetic counselor to get a more thorough discussion, since your father was so young, but it does sound like he had some habits associated with higher risk.