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Can epigenetic changes & developmental epigenetic changes cause cancer?

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Epigenetic changes can be associated with many types of cancer. Cancer was the first human disease to be linked to epigenetics.1

It is unlikely that epigenetic changes alone cause any one cancer. Rather, most cancers are caused by the build-up over time of many different mutations and epigenetic changes in many different genes.


  1. Simmons, D. (2008). Epigenetic influences and disease. Nature Education, 1(1). Retrieved July 24, 2012, from http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/epigenetic-influences-and-disease-895 External Web Site Policy [top]

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Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 10/28/2013