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Demystifying Colorectal Hereditary Syndromes

Medical and surgical strategies for gastrointestinal cancer surveillance were discussed by a researcher from Puerto Rico at a presentation given this week during a joint conference of the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy in Coronado, California.
About one in 25 people in the United States will develop colorectal cancer, said Marcia Cruz-Correa, MD, an associate professor of medicine and biochemistry at the University of Puerto Rico at San Juan. The risk increases to about 15 to 20 percent when a family member has the disease, she said.
People with hereditary colorectal syndromes such as Lynch syndrome, adenomatous polyposis, and hamartomatous polyposis have a much higher likelihood of developing colorectal cancer.
Cancer in people with Lynch syndrome usually develops before the age of 50, with the tumors on the right side of the colon about 60 percent of the time. “If someone has Lynch syndrome by age 50, 25 percent of them will already have colorectal cancer, compared to less than 5 percent in the US population,” said Cruz-Correa.

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