Recent discovery in twin study shows cancer may affect both siblings during their lifetime. The study about cancer recurrence in twins performed by a Nordic University that started in 1943 and ended in 2010 shows that a twin sibling has more chances of developing the disease than non-twin siblings.
By studying the data collected in 67 years, that amassed 27156 cancer diagnostics for 23980 persons, Mucci, one of the lead researchers, concluded that the incidence of the disease is much higher in the case of twin siblings.
The data showed that the percentage of developing cancer in the case of twins is 46 percent. This is the first study to use such a great sample of twins, thus the findings are much more conclusive and groundbreaking.
Mucci’s discovery in twin study shows cancer may affect both siblings, but not necessarily in the same way. There have been observations of one brother developing melanoma while the other had testicular cancer. These are very important conclusions that show the fact that the form of cancer is not the one that runs in the family, but rather cancer itself.
Among the different types of the affection that were observed in the patients that participated in the study, skin melanoma had the grossest incidence (9,58%), followed by prostate cancer (5.7%) skin cancer that is non-melanoma (4.3%), ovarian cancer (3.9%), and kidney cancer (3.8%).
Of course, one of the explanations for this could be the fact that the siblings shared an environment for an important part of their life. Both being exposed to the same factors. Also, identical twins who had a 14 percent higher risk of developing cancer do share the same genetic material. The fraternal twins, on the other side, have only 5% more chances to get the disease.
Though twin study shows cancer may affect both siblings, it is not necessary that the illness presents itself with the same aggression. There is a huge difference between testicular cancer, for example, and skin melanoma. They could be the result of not just a genetic predisposition, but also the lifestyle choices of the patient. Also, they have different chances of treatment and survival.
Mucci also bears some good news. Because of the conclusions drawn after this extensive study, siblings may have a chance of detecting forms of cancer at early stages, thus increasing chances of survival. By knowing that the odds are not in their favor and that twin study shows cancer may affect both, the sibling that was not initially diagnosed could take life-saving prevention measures.
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