What are the risk factors for gastrointestinal stromal tumors?
A risk factor is anything that affects a person’s chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Currently, there are very few known risk factors for GIST. GIST does not appear to be caused by environmental factors (like toxins) or behavioral habits (like smoking). GIST results from gene mutations that are thought to be random in the vast majority of cases. In rare cases, GISTs have been found in several members of the same family. These family members inherited a gene mutation that leads to GIST. But most GISTs are not passed down from generation to generation.