One-third of colorectal cancers diagnosed before 35 are hereditary, study finds

the ONA take:

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, with the great majority of cases, approximately 90%, being diagnosed in individuals older than 50 years.

The odds of being diagnosed with CRC during one's lifetime is roughly five percent. Only 1.5 of CRC cases are diagnosed in individuals 35-years-old or younger.

Approximately 5% of all colorectal cases are due to hereditary causes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome. The prevalence of hereditary causes for CRC in younger people has not been examined in detail.

In this study, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, led by Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, M.D., Ph.D, assistant professor, Clinical Cancer Prevention, examined data from 193 patients that were diagnosed with CRC at or before age 35.

The investigators found that 35% of the younger CRC patients reviewed had a genetic origin to their disease, much higher than the overall CRC average.

The researchers advise, based on their results, that all patients diagnosed with CRC at age 35 or younger should receive a genetic evaluation, to better share the genetic risk information with family members.

Those with FAP stand a 100% chance to develop CRC unless early measures are taken and those with Lynch syndrome have a 50-80% chance of CRC development. If high-risk mutations are found, family members can take precautions, such as increased surveillance and behavioral modification.

A limitation of the study was a uniform means of genetic testing for all patients. The researchers hope to continue an examination of this CRC age group, focusing on the two-thirds of patients that lacked an identified genetic cause of their disease. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

One-third of colorectal cancers diagnosed before 35 are hereditary, study finds
Approximately 5% of all colorectal cases are due to hereditary causes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome.
Hereditary colorectal cancers, caused by inherited gene mutations, are relatively rare for most patients. However, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered a particularly high prevalence of hereditary cancers among those diagnosed with the disease before the age of 35.
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