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Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer

03/03/2008

Question:

My father got colon cancer at 70 years old. I am looking for a bit of information about this. Does this increase my risk of cancer. I am female so does that mean that I am at a lower risk? Is it more common in men? What are the sings that I should be looking for? Is there any screening that I should have done? What is the average age to have colon cancer? Any other infromation would be great. Thanks

Answer:

Your risk is increased between 1.5 and 2 fold over the general population. The current recommendation is to get a colonoscopy at age 40 and every 5 years thereafter. Main symptoms of cancer are bleeding, change in bowel pattern, abdominal pain but we like to do colonoscopy to detect and remove precancerous polyps. The risk is about the same for men and women. Most cases of cancer develop after age 50 but in someone with a family history, it can occur earlier.

For more information:

Go to the Colon Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gregory S Cooper, MD Gregory S Cooper, MD
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University