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Genetics and inherited conditions

About 5-7% of colorectal cancer patients inherited a gene mutation that greatly increased their lifetime risk. 

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Genetics and your risk

What if you had a crystal ball that told whether you and your family are more likely to face colorectal cancer? 

Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball — or its medical equivalent — quite yet, but knowing about your family history and any hereditary genetic conditions can help you stay ahead of the game.

Cancer & genetics

How do I know if I’m at risk?

There are three subgroups of risk for cancer.

Sporadic risk

If you fall into the sporadic group, which means you have no family history of cancer or inherited genetic predisposition, you have about a one in 24 chance of getting colorectal cancer.

Familial risk

If you have familial risk, meaning an immediate family member has the disease, your lifetime risk increases to 10 to 20 percent.

Hereditary risk

Those who have the highest lifetime risk of colorectal cancer are in the hereditary subgroup. Depending on the particular genetic syndrome, the chances of getting colorectal cancer may be 30 to 100 percent.

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What can I do after I know my genetic risk?

Screening is the most important thing you can do to prevent colorectal cancer because it finds cancer in the early stages. Talk to your healthcare provider about your personal genetic risks.

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