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When a person has hereditary cancer, it means that they have a genetic alteration (mutation) in all their cells, which predisposes them to developing certain tumours. The mutation is usually passed on from the person’s parents, which is why it is known as hereditary cancer.
Digestive tumours have an important hereditary component. Hereditary colorectal cancer is probably the most common form, although gastric and pancreatic cancers are also associated with hereditary factors. Forms of hereditary digestive cancer include Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis.