Richard Whittington, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
Can a patient with lupus and rectal cancer have a radiation therapy treatment? If so, what will be the risks?
Richard Whittington, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, responds:
The lifetime risk of colon cancer is increased for first-degree (parents, sibling, children) relatives and to a lesser extent for second-degree relatives (grandparents, aunts/uncles), although still increased. Thus, you are at somewhat increased risk. Although it is good that your father and aunts/uncles have yet to manifest polyps or cancer. You should have a screening colonoscopy at some point, and if that is normal, your gastroenterologist can determine the frequency.