Diabetes and cancer are the two most leading causes of human deaths worldwide. There are several risk factors that are associated with the occurrence of diabetes and cancer that include age, gender, daily life style and dietary habits
Another major risk factor that has a strong influence on the incidence of diabetes and cancer is inheritance. Research studies reveal that diabetes and cancer are genetic diseases that can get inherited.
Genetic diseases can be explained as medical conditions that occur as a result of abnormalities or mutations in genes or chromosomes of the individual. When this abnormal gene is passed on to the next generation through inheritance, chances of offspring suffering with the same medical condition are high. In case of diabetes and cancer, both these diseases are multifactorial, complex and polygenic genetic disorders, whose occurrence is associated with the abnormalities in multiple genes along with errors in lifestyle and environmental factors.
For example, in cancer, the disease occurs when a series of mutually related defects get accumulated within the cells either through inheritance of mutations or acquisition of new mutations during the lifetime. All these combine to cause cancer, where cells continue to divide unabatedly unlike normal cells. In case of diabetes, scientists have successfully discovered various gene variants that can result in obesity and diabetes.
Multifactorial diseases are difficult to understand and treat. In case of these diseases, even the pattern of inheritance is not as predictable as like single gene disorders. As per Mendelian Law of Inheritance, the risk of inheriting multifactorial conditions is less than 25 percent, even though the condition runs in the family. Another important fact to consider about multifactorial conditions is that the recurrence risk of these diseases is higher in individuals having greater number of relatives affected with the same condition.
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