Hereditary Colon Cancer: Understanding Your Risks | One Healthy Boston


Hereditary Colon Cancer: Understanding Your Risks

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of death for men in the United States, affecting one in every nine men on average. Fortunately, when is it caught early enough, colon cancer is treatable.

It is integral for men of all ages to understand their risks for colon cancer, and to adhere to their routine wellness checks and cancer screenings. For men with a family history of colon cancer, the importance of preventative screenings cannot be overstated.

Family History and Colon Cancer

There are a number of factors that may impact a man’s unique risk for developing colon cancer over the course of his lifetime, but it is crucial that family history not be overlooked. One in every three men who develop colon cancer have a history of it in their family. The risk is even higher if the relative was diagnosed with colon cancer when they were under the age of 50.

Colon cancers, like many cancers, can “run in the family” for a few different reasons. Some of the abnormal genes associated with different kinds of cancer may be inherited. At times, hereditary cancer is also prevalent because of shared environmental or lifestyle factors. Talking to your primary care provider about your family history is the first step in assessing your hereditary risk factors, and determining the best course for preventative care.

Screening and Preventative Care

The American Cancer Society recommends that all men over the age of 45 attend regular screenings for colorectal cancers. It is important to discuss your options for screening and preventative care with your primary care provider in order to further reduce your individual level of risk for colon cancer and other related cancers.

At South Shore Health, recent advancements in the early detection and diagnosis of colon cancer have made it possible for physicians to drastically improve patient outcomes. These screenings are optimized in order to reach a wider demographic, allowing more men to optimize their treatment and recovery options.

Visit the South Shore Health website to learn more about our cancer screening, treatment and recovery offerings.

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