Will I get my brother or sister’s cancer?

It’s normal to wonder – and worry – whether because your brother or sister has cancer you could get it.

It’s not like catching a cold

You may worry that you will catch cancer (no it’s not a silly thought). You can’t. It is not a contagious disease. So there are definitely no problems with sharing mugs, or hugs.

Did it get passed down from our parents (like eye colour)?

Most cancers are not passed down from parent to child. However there are some cancers that do have a genetic component. That is, they are caused by a faulty gene that may have been inherited (passed down from parent to child).

Only a small number of cancers (between 5-10% or less than 1 in 10) seem to be the result of having a faulty gene and these tend to be the cancers that affect older people.

If you are worried about this talk to your parents, ask their doctor or check out one of the cancer information websites in the useful links section.