General Question

sandystrachan's avatar

Does bowel cancer run in families?

Asked by sandystrachan (4380 points ) March 30th, 2009

My biological farther has this form of cancer. I am just wondering if it would/could be passed down

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9 Answers

allen_o's avatar

All cancers have heredatory traits

Mr_M's avatar

You ABSOLUTELY have a higher then normal risk when it comes to colon cancer and should get your colonoscopy as advised by your doctors.

casheroo's avatar

Yes, so I’d stay on top of getting colonscopy’s, to prevent it from spreading if you do get it.

Mr_M's avatar

Besides that, benign growths on the colon can BECOME cancerous, so you want to get them removed BEFOREHAND.

shilolo's avatar

@allen_o Not all cancers have hereditary traits. For example, many cancers are caused by viruses (and bacteria), and thus, are not really hereditary. Furthermore, with the now well-accepted two hit hypothesis, many cases of cancer are just bad luck.

To answer the question proper, the answer is yes. There are many hereditary disorders that have an increased risk of colon cancer. As to whether you have a higher than normal risk, it is impossible to know without more information regarding the type of cancer your father had and at what age, along with additional pertinent family and personal history.

galileogirl's avatar

My grandfather had what my mother described as abdominal cancer and died in his early 60’s. When I was 54 I was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. When the Dr took my history she told me it was likely he had colon cancer because in the past cancer of any kind and especially to do with the bowel was not discussed.

The surgeon told me my siblings should have colonoscopies. Three of the four, ages 46–52, had precancerous polyps removed. Now our children will have colonoscopies in their 40’s and keep an eye on the situation.

Mr_M's avatar

That’s wise. Regardless of the possibilities based upon whatever, if it’s in your family, best to err on the side of caution.

FuzzyGold's avatar

It runs in my family. My brother just died from colon cancer. My children and their cousins are all getting colonoscopies at age 40.

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