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What are the “Amsterdam criteria”?

The Amsterdam criteria are a system doctors use to determine if you should seek genetic counseling for hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). If these hold true for your family, then you might want to seek genetic counseling. But even if your family history satisfies the Amsterdam criteria, it doesn't always mean you have HNPCC. Only about half of families who meet the Amsterdam criteria have HNPCC. The other half do not, and although their colorectal cancer rate is about twice as high as normal, it is not as high as that of people with HNPCC. On the other hand, many families with HNPCC do not meet the Amsterdam criteria. The Amsterdam criteria are:
a. At least 3 relatives have colorectal cancer
b. One should be a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) of the other 2 relatives
c. At least 2 successive generations are involved
d. At least 1 relative had their cancer when they were younger than the age of 50
 

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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.