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Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention$
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David Schottenfeld and Joseph F. Fraumeni

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195149616

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149616.001.0001

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Genetic Concepts and Methods in Epidemiologic Research

Genetic Concepts and Methods in Epidemiologic Research

Chapter:
(p.89) 7 Genetic Concepts and Methods in Epidemiologic Research
Source:
Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention
Author(s):

NEIL J. RISCH

ALICE S. WHITTEMORE

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149616.003.0007

Advances in the last thirty years have generated much work for cancer epidemiologists, who must work with geneticists to identify genes that alter cancer risk and then translate the genetic discoveries into risk estimates and cost/benefit analyses that lead to effective strategies for cancer prevention and control. This chapter describes this work as it relates to heritable germline mutations and their roles in cancer susceptibility. It begins by presenting evidence that such mutations are important in specific cancers. It then describes methods for identifying these mutations and discusses how to characterize their effects on risk. The chapter concludes by considering the challenge for the future: how to use information on an individual's genetic susceptibility to prevent cancer occurrence.

Keywords:   cancer epidemiology, cancer risk, germline mutations, risk estimates, cost/benefit analysis

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