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Colon Cancer

History of Colon cancer

06/26/2008

Question:

My Great-gramma on my dad`s side of the family had colon cancer in her 20`s. My new primary care doctor told me that because of the family history, I should get a colonoscopy now (I`m 26). I`ve never had any colon issues at all, and really don`t want to get a colonoscopy before I have too. My doctor said that if you have any family history of cancer, you need to get screened 10 yrs before the age of the family member when they got it. Is this true? I`ve never been told this by a doctor - I thought it had to be with a first degree relative...to my knowledge, Great-gramma isn`t that, right?

Answer:

You're correct - the rule of age 40 or 10 years younger just applies to 1st degree realtives. If you have no other relatives and no symptoms, the recommendation is for age 50.

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Response by:

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