How does having a family history of colon cancer affect risk?

Having a family history of colon cancer increases an individual's risk of developing colon cancer. If the family history involves a first-degree relative such as a parent, sibling or child, then the risk is higher. Having multiple family members with colon cancer also increases a person's risk. If an affected family member was diagnosed with colon cancer at a younger age, this further increases a person's risk. It is important for people to be informed about any family history of colon cancer so they can discuss this with their doctor, who can then discuss the best screening options.
People with a history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps in one or more first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) are at increased risk. The risk is about doubled in those with only one affected first-degree relative. It is even higher if that relative was diagnosed with cancer when they were young, or if more than one first-degree relative is affected.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.