Chapter

Genetic Concepts and Methods in Epidemiologic Research

NEIL J. RISCH and ALICE S. WHITTEMORE

in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Third edition

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195149616
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865062 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149616.003.0007
Genetic Concepts and Methods in Epidemiologic Research

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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

Chapter.  12430 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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