Sometimes cancers are said to ‘run in the family’. This means there is a faulty gene in the family that is linked to a type of cancer and can be passed down from a parent to a child. People in a family who carry the faulty gene have an increased risk of developing that type of cancer, but it doesn’t mean they will always develop it.
In most cases pancreatic cancer doesn’t run in families. However, a small number of rare genetic conditions are linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. These are sometimes called family cancer syndromes. Between 5 and 10 out of 100 pancreatic cancers (5-10%) may be caused by one of these conditions. They are rare, so if your family is affected you will probably know about it from family members who have already been diagnosed.