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Cancer is becoming a plague on my family

worriedson714's picture
Posts: 271
Joined: Dec 2019

First my dad then my aunt got beast cancer now my uncle has lymphoma and my other uncle the doctors are talking cancer to . All but one of my dad's relatives appears to have cancer and it's blowing my mind is this common ? Also does anyone know if this could mean my dad's family has a genetic mutation ? If so should I be checked for cancer sooner then 50 ? 

SnapDragon2's picture
Posts: 528
Joined: Nov 2019

Always let your dr know family history and make them put it in your file.  Some docs think its not important past immediate family but it is.  And yes, research the things you mentioned, print off the papers if you are finding papers that state testing should be done.  Bring it to your dr and push for it to be done.

worriedson714's picture
Posts: 271
Joined: Dec 2019

My dad has a appointment for a genetics doc in march I will be sure to let them now also I'll let my pcp know thanks for replying 

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

I am not sure all the recommendations, but if an immediate family member has colon cancer, your should get a colonscopy earlier than the general recommendation of 50 years old for the first one, and I believe more often than 5 years.  Especially if polyps are found.  But check with your doctors on the timing and also for the other things.  

Tueffel's picture
Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2020

Yes definetely talk about that with a genetic doctor. There seem to be a lot of cancers on your fathers side of family but if it is genetic I cant say. If you go to the doctor do tell him the final diagnosis, the age of the diagnosis (the younger the patient, the louder the bells should ring) and how they are related to your father. You mentioned your uncle for example, if he is married to your aunt who is your dads sister, then he is not relevant for your dad because he is not related by blood. Try to find what diseases your grandparents had and relatives to them. For diagnosis it is better to have more than one generations. 

As for colon cancer how I learned them in gastroenterology: if your parent get diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 51, the first colonoscopy should be 10 years earlier. So first colonoscopy at the age of 41. This changes when it is genetic.

When you will have the first check ups depend on your gender. 50 is just for colon cancer and normal people without any relative with colon cancer or a genetic risk. I believe here in Germany it is recommended to have tests for prostate cancer in your forties, also earlier for malignant melanoma. Young men and boys should check for testicular cancer because testicular cancer is diagnosed in 20ties. 

As for women: I already have regular cancer screenings for cervical and breast cancer and I am only 26 but it is prevention and covered by the insurance. 

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6706
Joined: Feb 2009

History plays an important role in genetics and although my father or mother didn't have colorectal cancer, my aunt did.  I'm the only one so far that has had it since my aunt and my diagnosis was at age 50, and hers at 74.  My children are recommended to have their first colonoscopy at age 40.  It's best to always talk to your doctor about this.  If you just don't want to wait, you can express your concern and they could get you earlier.  Sorry to hear about all of your family - that has to be very troubling.


darcher's picture
Posts: 298
Joined: Jun 2017

That's the technical term for Lynch Syndrome. And yes, colorectal cancer can be hereditary although it's not always the case. For example, many in my family had cancer too and it was discovered to be an environmental cause. Where we grew up ended up a superfund site years after we left. The factories there were dumping large amounts of Chromium 6 into the air and water for decades and made the area a cancer hot spot.

There is also longevity. As humans our life spans have increased and the frequency of cancer occurrence will increase with it. Cancer being what it is and how it's caused the odds of it happening grow the longer we live. I think it's common practice now to test for Lynch syndrome so it might be a good idea to ask about it. That's one variable to account for.

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 211
Joined: Nov 2019

One of my docs told me to tell my kids to get colonoscopies at 40. I would recommend 30. Sure they will hate it but they've seen what I've been through. You should, too. We don't know exactly why people are getting CRC at a younger age but they are.

My father's side of the family, two brothers died from cancer and two sisters are in remission (big family). But since he never had a problem I always checked "no" when I filled out some form about famly member illnesses. Big mistake.

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