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What are the “revised Bethesda guidelines”?

The revised Bethesda guidelines are used to determine whether a person with colorectal cancer should have his or her cancer tested for genetic changes that are seen with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). If a person with colorectal cancer has any of the Bethesda criteria, genetic testing is advised to look for an inherited HNPCC-associated gene mutation. Still, most people who meet the Bethesda criteria do not have HNPCC. These criteria include at least one of the following:
1. The person is younger than 50 years of age.
2. The person has or had a second colorectal cancer or another cancer (endometrial, stomach, pancreas, small intestine, ovary, kidney, brain, ureters, or bile duct) that is associated with HNPCC
3. The person is younger than 60 years and the cancer has certain characteristics seen with HNPCC when viewed under the microscope or with other lab tests
4. The person has a first-degree relative younger than 50 who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer or another cancer often seen in HNPCC carrier (endometrial, stomach, pancreas, small intestine, ovary, kidney, brain, ureters, or bile duct).
5. The person has 2 or more first- or second-degree relatives who had colorectal cancer or an HNPCC-related cancer at any age.

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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.