Colorectal Cancer Risk Management & Treatment

Learn about options for colorectal cancer screening, prevention and treatment.

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Colorectal Cancer Risk, Risk Management and Treatment

Colorectal Cancer Risk

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer refers to cancer that begins in the colon or the rectum. Because these cancers are similar, they are often grouped together.

Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?

Everyone is at risk for colorectal cancer; the risk varies based on multiple factors including:

  • age
  • presence of an inherited mutation
  • personal and family history of cancer
  • other risk factors

Can colorectal cancer be hereditary?

About 10 percent of people with colorectal cancer have an inherited mutation linked to increased cancer risk. Inherited mutations in the genes below increase the risk for colorectal cancer and can cause cancer to run in families.

Genes Linked to Colorectal Cancer Risk
APC, BMPR1A, CHEK2, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, PMS2, POLE, PTEN, SMAD4, STK11, TP53

Other inherited mutations increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Most of these are rare. 

What else affects colorectal cancer risk?

Factors such as diet, weight, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption can affect colorectal cancer risk in the general population and in people at high risk for cancer. More research is needed to understand how much these factors influence risk in people with inherited mutations.

Risk Management and Treatment

Risk management

People at high risk for colorectal cancer have different options for managing cancer risk, including screening, medications to reduce risk and surgery to reduce risk. National expert guidelines for colorectal cancer risk management are based on your gene mutation and your level of risk. Click on the button below to learn more about these guidelines. Speak with your healthcare provider to decide on a risk-management plan and schedule that is right for you.


Treatment

People diagnosed with colorectal cancer may have different treatment options based on the results of genetic testing and biomarker testing. Click on the button below to learn more about these treatment options. Speak with your healthcare provider to decide on a treatment plan that is right for you.

Last updated June 28, 2024