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Colon Cancer Prevention Program

The Colon Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program provides comprehensive risk assessment, education, and screening for patients at increased risk of colon cancer. Our multidisciplinary expert team of genetic counselors, nurse practitioners and physicians works together to create a personalized care plan for each patient. Patients found to be at increased risk can then choose to be followed in the Colon Cancer Prevention Program.

Who is at Increased Risk of Colon Cancer?

Individuals with:

  • Strong family history of colorectal or GI cancer
  • Genetic predisposition, such as an inherited mutation in Lynch Syndrome, polyposis or other colon cancer-related heritable genetic defects
  • Significant history of colon polyps

What to Expect from your Appointments

The Colon Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program aims to provide a comprehensive, personalized consultation tailored to the needs of the individual patient. Many patients will meet first with a genetic counselor who will review family history and other risk factors for cancer, explain the role of genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes, offer testing (if appropriate), and provide an overall cancer risk assessment. Those patients considered to be at increased risk of colon cancer can then choose to consult with our expert physicians in the Colon Cancer Prevention Program, where we can provide a personalized colon cancer risk reduction care plan, including medical and surgical options. We arrange for appropriate colon cancer screening. If needed, we can also assist with arranging consultations with other specialists for a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention and surveillance.

With hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes, two factors determine screening schedules: the particular condition you have and the number and makeup of your polyps. Your treatment team can explain the benefits and risks of managing the disease with colonoscopies. Our screening guidelines for colorectal cancer consider factors specific to you, including your age, family medical history, and genetics.

Some of the hereditary disorders that increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer:

  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) consists of many precancerous polyps — possibly hundreds or thousands — in the colon and rectum. A milder form of FAP may present with a smaller number of colorectal polyps.
  • Lynch syndrome (formerly known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) is associated with an increased risk of colon and rectal cancer, as well as other forms of the disease including endometrial, ovarian, gastric, urinary tract, brain, and pancreas cancers.
  • MUTYH-associated polyposis is marked by multiple precancerous polyps in the colon and rectum, similar in number to that seen in the milder form of FAP.
  • Hyperplastic polyposis syndrome (HPS) is characterized by the development of multiple hyperplastic polyps in the colon and rectum. Currently, there is no gene mutation known to be associated with HPS.