Hereditary forms of Colorectal Cancer

Hereditary forms of Colorectal Cancer

Most people who develop bowel cancer have no family history of the disease, however for around 25% of all bowel cancer cases diagnosed in the UK there are affected family members. The 2 most common inherited colorectal cancer syndromes are hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is the most common form of hereditary colon cancer, accounting for about 3% of all colorectal cancer diagnoses each year. If a patient has a mutation in an associated gene their risk of being affected is very high. It also leads to increased risk of other cancers; such as kidney, ovarian, uterine, renal pelvis, small intestine, and stomach cancer.

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a rare condition characterized by the presence of hundreds or even thousands of benign polyps, or growths in the large intestine. It is thought to be present in about 1% of all people diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year.

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