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A female asked:

Is colorectal cancer hereditary? i have three family members (aunts and uncle) with colorectal cancer. am i more likely to get it than a normal person? should i start getting tested and when?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rodger Sleven
Gastroenterology 49 years experience
There : There is a genetic component to risk of colorectal cancer; but only 1 out of 6 or 7 people with these cancers have a family history so there is much more to the odds of getting it than just genetics. Current recommendations about screening do take into account family history, however. The risk is increased primarily for those with first degree relatives (parents, siblings, and children) with colorectal cancer. In your case, the relatives mentioned are not that close and your screening should start at age 50 unless you have specific personal symptoms or findings that might indicate a colon problem. (examples include blood in your stool or iron deficiency). Talk to your physician for more details.
Dr. Chad Levitt
Radiation Oncology 22 years experience
It can be: Your true genetic risk is dependent on how many first degree relatives have had colorectal cancer and at what age and what type. If concerned you should discuss with your pcp or gastroenterologist. Screening normally begins at fifty but for some high risk patients earlier is appropriate.
Dr. Robert Cloud
Colon and Rectal Surgery 41 years experience
Family history: Family history is extremely important in colon cancer. You should start colonoscopy screening at age 40 or ten years before the earliest case in the family, whichever is earlier. Genetic testing may be indicated as well.
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics and Gynecology 22 years experience
Dr. Cloud - would you recommend BRCA or Lynch syndrome testing for this patient or what specific genetic testing? Just intellectually curious.
Jan 10, 2015

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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