Familial Cancer Syndrome Linked to Colorectal Cancer in Younger People

rs. In addition, family members of individuals who develop colorectal cancer at an early age should now be monitored more closely," Dr. Guillem added.

The study also found that those with HNPCC had 13 times the rate of developing additional colorectal tumors compared with those in the non-HNPCC group (27% vs. 2%), supporting the recommendation for more extensive surgery to reduce the risk of developing a subsequent colorectal cancer in these patients.

While current guidelines recommend screening for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50 for average risk or at age 40 for those with a family history of the disease, individuals with HNPCC are advised to seek genetic counseling and screening with a colonoscopy every one to three years beginning at age 20.

"It is becoming increasingly important for people to know their family history and pay special attention to cancers that were detected at an early age," said Dr. Guillem. "Those individuals and their first-degree family members need to be screened more frequently and earlier than the general population for colorectal and other cancers," he added.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering maintains a registry of patients and their families who have early age-of-onset colorectal cancer or a history consistent with HNPCC and Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, as part of an international collaborative effort to identify, follow, study, and properly care for these individuals.


Contact: Stacey Harris
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

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