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Twins Study Provides New Insight Into The Genetic Risk Of Cancer

Researchers studied thousands of twins from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden over 60 years.

A monumental study on cancer rates in twins was released this week, with the research spanning over 60 years. And it's providing new insight into the genetic risk of cancer.

The study found identical twins were 14 percent more likely to develop cancer if their twin was diagnosed with cancer. And same-sex fraternal twins were 5 percent more likely to develop cancer if their twin had cancer, compared to the general population.

The study was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and looked at thousands of twins in Nordic countries between 1943 and 2010.

One researcher told LiveScience the results are more broadly significant because genetics could account for 30 to 60 percent of the variability in cancers like breast cancer, uterine cancer, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

This video includes an image from Donnie Ray Jones / CC BY 2.0.

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