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hereditary colon cancer

Posts: 166
Joined: Jul 2005

Since my father had his first cancer occurance when he was 49 years old (1993)(actually by the time they found it is was a HUGE tumor in his colon that probably had been growing for several years)...he also had hundreds of polyps and they ended up burning them out after his second colon cancer episode (1996).
So I've heard bits and pieces about certain types of colon cancer that are hereditary and wonder if the many polyps he had means anything as far as if it is the type that is hereditary or not?????
The reason I'm wondering is because I am fast approching the age of 10 years younger than my father when he was diagnosed and wondering if the many polyps is a bad sign and if it may be the type of colon cancer that they say you WILL get by age 40.


Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

I was diagnosed with FAP (Familial Adenomous (or reasonable facsimile) Polyposis). Apparently I had over 100 polyps in my colon and had to have the whole thing removed. I would strongly urge you to get checked out. I'm not suggesting you have FAP, but I do know that colon cancer tends to run in the family.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I know you will hear from some of our hereditary experts but I have to say....WHY RISK IT???? You are now considered to be in the high risk category for colorectal cancer and your doctor should have no problem recommending and getting your insurance to pay for a colonoscopy. If you have any siblings, they should do the same. All 5 of my siblings (no family history but we wanted to be sure) did and luckily no cancer was found but a few nasty non cancerous polyps were.

Lisa P.

valeriec's picture
Posts: 350
Joined: Oct 2006

My mom has stage 4 cancer-started out as stage 3. She is 63 years old and when they found her cancer they stongly recommended that us kids(4 of us) get a colonoscopy ASAP. I just turned 40-not near the 10 year rule-and was scoped this past summer. I agree with scouty-why risk it-do it now just to be safe.
P.S. The colonoscopy was not bad at all and doc did find 2 non-cancerous polyps.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Midnite -

I think Monicaemilia may have hit the nail on the head with FAP - polyposis is the presence of bunches of polyps. FAP is one of the hereditarty formsoccolon cancer. I have a different form, HNPCC. A lot of doctors recommend therapeutic colectemys for people who have the FAP gene. IF you get tested and IF you have the gene, please think long and hard about quality of life balances IF your doctor recommends a therapeutic colectemy.

I was concerned by something you posted abou someone WILL get cancer; it's important to recognize that, even if you have a gene for a hereditary form of colon cancer it doesn't necessarily mean your body will express that gene. The gene needs something to happen to flip the "on" switch and make it begin expressing itself.

My recommendation is like that of my cohorts here; get tested regularly both colonoscopy and endoscopy. You may have the gene, you may not. It MIGHT express itself if you have it, it might not.

The key is early detection.

Be well.

- SpongeBob

Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Sue, since he had several polyps it might be wise for you to be tested. I was tested at 40 and my dad didnt get his first bout until he was 68. A friend of mine had a mother and aunt that had several polyps so she had to start testing at 25. Like everyone says it better to be safe then sorry. I would definately get one done. Mindy

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Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2007

I am 37 years old, and just had my colon & rectum removed due to FAP. They found 1/2" cancer mass in the base of my rectum, but what they found after that is what was the major problem. I had 1000's of polyps. The Dr. thinks I was getting polyps since the age of 12. If someone thinks that FAP is in their family children need to be tested as early as 10 years old. My daughters are getting tested in April '07.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

OK it is time for me to harp again. I don't agree with the 10 year rule. I think as soon as a parent or sibling is dx'd should be when you are tested. Many insurance companies will cover even before the age 50 or 10 year rule.

As a reminder, my husband was dx'd june 05. Our son (28 at the time) talked to the doctor about when to be tested. The answer: NOW. He went for a colonscopy and found that he also had three polyps (one very large). The gastro doctor said that the polyps most likely would have turned in to cancer within two years.

If the doctor had followed the 10 rule or age 50, these polpys would have surely turned to cancer long before he reached the acceptable age. I am forever thankful for the doctor's recommendation of early testing.

We thought that my husband's family carried one of the hereditary genes but none was found. So regardless of carrying a hereditary gene or not, it is safer to be tested early than to risk cancer.

Not to scare anyone, just would rather that no one have to deal with this disease.


Posts: 120
Joined: Apr 2004

My husband was diagnosed when he had just turned 50.
Sloane recommended that my children have first colonoscopy twenty years before his diagnose (30) and of course if they have any symptoms immediate. His siblings were told to have one immediatley.

Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006


I think it would probably be wise for you to get checked out. It's better to be safe. Even though my dad was 76 when he was diagnosed, I plan to have my first colonoscopy after my pregnancy is over. I am 31 now, but my dad's surgeon recommended that I get screened at 40. I will do whatever I can to get it approved. My brother, who is 37, recently got checked out and they found some polyps. I'm glad he went now instead of when he is 40. Who knows what those polyps could have done if they weren't removed.


alta29's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

Pleaseeeeee don't wait... My daugther is only 21 and she already had pre-cancerous polips. She will be tested for Lymph syndrome at the end of the most ( but my Onco already told me that he is almost 100 % that she has it) Do not wait...it's now wirst it
God bless

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