Any cancer that develops in the large intestine is called Colorectal Cancer (CRC).
CRC didn’t stop because of the pandemic.
CRC is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
If CRC is found early, the survival rate is very high.
CRC screening can save your life!
Who should be screened for CRC?
All men and women should be screened for CRC.
The American Cancer Society recently recommended that adults without a family history of CRC should begin CRC screening at age 45.
Individuals with a family history of CRC should be screened at age 40 or 10 years before the age of the youngest case in your immediate family (mother, father, sister, brother).
What Is the Best Type of Screening for CRC?
Preventing CRC is the goal.
Most CRC begins as polyps.
Finding, quantifying, localizing, and removing polyps through a screening colonoscopy is the most effective strategy for preventing CRC. Colonoscopy uses a flexible, lighted tool called a colonoscope to view the entire colon and remove cancerous and precancerous growths called polyps.
A colonoscopy is the gold standard for CRC screening.
Your Child and CRC:
If you have a family history of CRC, you and your child may need to have a colonoscopy before age 45. People with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) with CRC have 2-3 times the risk of developing CRC.
The two most common inherited CRC syndromes are Lynch Syndrome (more formally known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, HNPCC) and Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). Lynch Syndrome and FAP affect both males and females and can develop at a young age.
If you have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or child) with Lynch syndrome, there is a 50% chance that you have it, too. Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition. If a parent has Lynch syndrome, then there is a 50% chance of passing it on to each child. Genetic testing for Lynch Syndrome is available. If you have a first-degree relative with Lynch syndrome, you may wish to undergo genetic testing to determine whether you have inherited the condition. Children of parents who have been identified to have a genetic mutation that causes Lynch Syndrome should also be tested to see if they have inherited the genetic mutation.
FAP is a rare but serious genetic condition that causes hundreds to thousands of precancerous polyps to develop in the colon and the number of polyps continues to increase with age. If FAP is not recognized and treated, there is almost a 100% chance that it will develop into CRC. FAP can be passed from generation to generation in a family. Genetic testing for FAP is available. Parents who have been identified to have the genetic mutation for FAP have a 50% chance of passing it on to each child. Therefore, children of parents who have been identified to have the genetic mutation for FAP should be tested to see if they have inherited the genetic mutation.
I have had my screening colonoscopy, have you? You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to talk to your doctor or a gastroenterologist about undergoing CRC screening.