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Do you know anyone in your family that has had colorectal cancer before? If so, you and other loved ones may be at risk to develop this deadly cancer in the future. You may benefit from genetic testing to see if there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Learn more about colorectal cancer and family history.

Lynch Syndrome Testing

Lynch syndrome often increases your chance of developing colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer with Lynch syndrome ranges from 10 to 80 percent.

One way to discover whether you should get tested for Lynch syndrome is through the Amsterdam criteria:

You have three or more relatives that have developed cancer linked with Lynch syndrome.
One of those relatives is a parent, sibling or child of the other two relatives.
At least two consecutive generations are affected by cancer.
At least one relative got cancer under 50-years-old.

If you or someone you know has Lynch syndrome, the screening guidelines recommend testing during the early 20s or two to five years younger than the youngest person in the family with a cancer diagnosis. Testing should also continue every one to two years to identify polyps at the earliest time.

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Testing

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) can cause polyps in the colorectal system, which may lead to colorectal cancer. If you have FAP, you may get polyps before the recommended screening time and lead to later detection. Genetic testing is available for those with FAP based on family history.

If you are diagnosed with FAP, screening guidelines recommend testing to start in the teenage years. The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is almost guaranteed; many doctors recommend removing the colon in a person’s 20s to avoid colorectal cancer.

If you have a record of colorectal cancer and family history, reach out to your family practice physician to talk about screening today. Learn more about screening guidelines on our blog.