Advances in Human Genetics 8 by Alfred G. Knudson Jr. (auth.), Harry Harris, Kurt Hirschhorn

By Alfred G. Knudson Jr. (auth.), Harry Harris, Kurt Hirschhorn (eds.)

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24 SURVEY OF HUMAN CANCERS Common Adult Cancers Skin Cancer Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, but its high cure rate renders it less important than many other forms. The susceptibility to it of feebly pigmented people and of those chronically exposed to sunlight compels immediate recognition of the interaction of heredity and environment in its causation. Xeroderma pigmentosum has been discussed as a recessively inherited defect in the repair of ultravioletinduced DNA damage and as a condition which provides direct support for the mutational origin of cancer.

The last tumor is usually gestational and found in the uterus; otherwise, the last two tumors seldom occur in extragonadal sites. Both embryonal carcinoma and choriocarcinoma may arise from teratoid tumors of extragonadal origin, however. Consideration of extragonadal tumors of this group is therefore essentially a consideration of teratoid tumors-teratoma in its nonmalignant forms, including dermoid cyst, and teratocarcinoma. The principal extragonadal site for teratoma is the sacrococcygeal region.

192 Efforts to identify Mendelian factors in breast cancer have demonstrated Chapter 1: Genetics and Etiology of Human Cancer 25 that it is associated with one stigmatizing dominant condition, Cowden's disease,1oo and that it can be inherited dominantly without phenotypic abnormality. When so inherited, it often occurs premenopausally and bilaterally. 6 In families demonstrating dominant inheritance of breast cancer, the mutant gene may be transmitted by unaffected males. In addition, there are some pedigrees in which males have been affected.

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Advances in Human Genetics 8 by Alfred G. Knudson Jr. (auth.), Harry Harris, Kurt Hirschhorn
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