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Simulating Family Histories of Cancer

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A family history of cancer might arise because of genetic susceptibility that is inherited from parents, nongenetic exposures that are shared between family members, and chance. Computer simulation models attempt to mimic phenomena and the relationships between them. The models are particularly useful in marrying concepts from branches of science that are usually studied separately, and for studying complex phenomena like those in epidemiology. This article addresses family histories of cancer that result from a combination of inherited genetic susceptibility and chance. Simulation modeling forces a review of our assumptions about the factors and their relationships.
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Keywords: cancer; family history

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cancer Control Research Program, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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