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A collective term for diseases caused by cells in specific parts of the body growing and dividing uncontrollably.

Use in clinical context

Cells that grow and divide uncontrollably can impact the surrounding tissues and organs and lead to cancer. The lifetime risk of an individual being diagnosed with cancer is 1 in 2 (50%). All cancers are the result of changes to the genome and can be caused by inherited variants, such as variants in the BRCA genes. Other disease-causing variants can be acquired in particular cells during a person’s life, for example due to exposure to carcinogenic chemicals such as tobacco smoke.

Last updated on 17th June, 2019