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All in the Family

June 15, 2015

Several genes have been linked to the development of colorectal cancer, and in some cases, the risk is inherited. When two or more members of a family develop colorectal cancer, the possibility of a genetic syndrome is more likely and patients may need to be vigilant about cancer screening. Patients who also develop multiple polyps or who have polyps that keep recurring may have a colon cancer predisposition syndrome.

Some of the hereditary diseases that may cause colorectal cancer include HNPCC (also known as Lynch Syndrome) and FAP (familial adenomatous polyposis).

Vanderbilt’s Clinical and Translational Hereditary Cancer Program, led by director Georgia Wiesner, M.D., M.S., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, is investigating the genetic anomalies that may lead to an inherited risk of cancer.

The Vanderbilt Hereditary Cancer Clinic provides evaluation and counseling for patients with familial cancer risk. The clinic’s physicians, genetic counselors and nurse practitioner are specially trained in cancer genetics and they can help patients determine their risk of developing cancer. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 615-322-2064.

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