Familial Colorectal Cancer

Last Modified: March 16, 2011

Share article


Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 36, but have no family history of it. I am concerned for my 2 small children. When should my children start screening for colon cancer?

Answer

Carmen E. Guerra, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor of Medicine at Penn Medicine, responds:

Your young age at diagnosis is concerning for a familial or inherited predisposition for colorectal cancer. Currently, we can check for several colorectal cancer genetic syndromes, which include Lynch Syndrome [also called Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)] and FAP. You should discuss with your physician whether these tests are appropriate for you and, if you have a genetic predisposition, consider discussing whether the tests are appropriate for your children. Screening recommendations will depend on whether your family is affected by these conditions.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the full transcript of Advances in Colorectal Cancer Screening.


News
Repair Defects Linked to Risk of Familial Colorectal Cancer

Aug 22, 2014 - The risk of colorectal cancer in first-degree relatives of colorectal cancer patients increases if the tumors are defective in repairing their DNA and if patients developed disease early, but most of the excess risk cannot be accounted for by defects in known genes, according to research published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.



I Wish You Knew

How an oncology social worker can improve your cancer experience

View More



Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.




OncoLink OncoPilot

Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!

Learn More