J. Bras. Patol. Med. Lab. 2016;52(6):366
Cancer is a complex group of diseases with numerous possible causes. These include genetic factors, eating habits, lifestyle, viral infections, exposure to different types of potentially mutagenic agents and radiation, among others.
Although it represents an important group, cancers arising from inherited gene mutations correspond to a relatively small amount of all neoplastic processes. It is estimated that about 5%-10% of all cancers are related to one or more inherited gene mutations. These processes have low probability of preventive actions.
Most neoplasms result from gene mutations occurring after birth, and some of these mutations are clearly related to external agents that affect the molecular integrity of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). They enable the adoption of preventive measures, aiming at reducing their incidence.