What is my risk for other cancers after colon cancers?

James D. Lewis, MD, MSCE
Last Modified: June 23, 2002


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
What is my risk for other cancers after colon cancers?  


James D. Lewis, MD, MSCE, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Senior Scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Senior Fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

This is a very important question that has not been well answered. Keep your eyes open and you may see information in the news. At a minimum, all patients with colon cancer should speak with their physician to determine whether or not they may have a familial cancer syndrome (familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer). Patients with a familial cancer syndrome are clearly at increased risk for many other types of cancers, as may be some of their relatives. Lastly, persons who have had one colon cancer are at increased risk for another colon cancer and should be closely monitored in cancer surveillance programs. Please visit the OncoLink/NCCRA colorectal database which allows you to register and be considered for enrollment in new clinical trials that specifically assess risk for yourself and other family members of developing additional malignancies.