Every 4. Colorectal cancer is familial: two questions, you identify your risk

Every fourth of colorectal cancer is familial, the high risk was inherited. However, many do not even know that you are at risk. FOCUS Online spoke with one of the cancer experts about how to determine your hereditary risk and what to do next.

Bowel cancer affects mainly older people. Even younger adults can develop, it is less well known. It is increasing in the under 50-Year-old colon cancer significantly, since 2002, the number of new cases at 25 – to 49-Year-olds increased by eleven percent. Many of them are diagnosed so early because you have a hereditary risk for colorectal cancer.

Family history of bowel cancer risk doubles

But most people are not aware that they have a family history and therefore are at risk. Then only one thing helps: to address colorectal cancer in the family. On the occasion of colorectal cancer awareness month March, the Felix Burda Foundation with the campaign, “There is no too young. Talk to your family!“.

“Talk is so important because in the case of a family burden, the own risk for colorectal cancer is approximately twice as high,” explains Korbinian Weigl of the unit cancer prevention in the German cancer research center in Heidelberg. Of stress in the family to talk to experts and then, if a first degree Relative of colorectal cancer or a precursor had or has. However, the Relatives of the second degree are important, such as the grandparents. One of them is affected by them, there is an increased risk to colon cancer, although not as strongly.

The diagnosis of colorectal cancer means for patients is not only an emotional break down, but often also a financial. Who wants to support patients, you can donate to the following account:

Felix Burda Foundation
IBAN: DE35 6808 0030 0730 0323 01
Commerzbank Offenburg
Keyword: “patient assistance colon cancer”

For more information, please refer to this Link. The Felix Burda Foundation with headquarters in Munich was founded in 2001 by Dr. Christa Maar and the publisher Prof. Dr. Hubert Burda and bears the name of its 2001 cancer of the colon, deceased son.

The Foundation is dedicated exclusively to the prevention of colon cancer and is today one of the most well-known, non-profit institutions in the German Health Community.

Only two questions

The private familial risk, you find out only when they speak with their Relatives, i.e. father, mother, siblings, grandparents – even if the topic of bowel and intestinal disorders is still for many a taboo subject. Two simple questions will suffice:

1. Have you ever had colorectal cancer and, if no,

2. were removed if you ever colon polyps (especially adenomas)?

Each adenoma is dangerous

Because the precursors in the case of Relatives, the own risk for colon cancer increase. Adenomas can degenerate if they are not removed in a timely manner, to colon cancer. “The only exception is the hyperplastic Polyp, a very harmless precursor, it is assumed that he developed the colon cancer is,” explains Korbinian Weigl.

A close Relative has had an adenoma, a precursor or colorectal cancer, indicates with great certainty on a private, higher colorectal cancer risk.

Undisputed the conversation is, therefore, in the family, by far, the easiest method to obtain information on the own risk of bowel cancer.

Blood test detects colon cancer risk

In the future, a blood might deliver in addition, test assertions for the individual colorectal cancer risk. In a study, Korbinian Weigl cooperated and was published in the journal Gastroenterology, could be created with a simple blood test, a genetic profile with over 1,000 subjects to see whether such information is suitable to identify individuals with higher and lower risk for colorectal cancer and its precursors.

The focus of small DNA Changes, the pull in itself is not a genetic defect to. “With the genetic risk core, we have taken all of these individual Changes, which are in the population, by the way, relatively frequently, and were able to classify the subjects into high-, medium -, and low genetic risk profile,” says the scientist.

Thus, only the time of colonoscopy does not, in accordance with the genetic risk profile to customize. In a further study of the genetic risk core was compared with the risk in the family-the present of colorectal cancer. This showed that both pieces of information can together provide a better classification of colorectal cancer risk. The blood test, however, is not on the market yet, further studies are still needed later, it could be carried out in the context of health check-UPS uncomplicated.

Every tenth German has a family history

In the General population, about ten percent have a family history, the risk of colon cancer significantly increases. For the 90 percent who do not have family burden, would be the blood test is particularly useful. “We actually assume that some, because of their genetic risk profile have an approximately equally high risk as half of the family-Preloaded,” says the expert.

Family burden means on the one hand genes, on the other hand, the usual life style in the family

Around 65,000 people a year developing bowel cancer and one in four has a family burden, “which is divided in turn into:

  • 5 percent heritable syndromes,
  • 20% on a family history, of the life style plays a role that is passed in the case of many from Generation to Generation“,

from the researchers. In the lifestyle that increases the risk of colorectal cancer, is the well-known adverse factors such as Smoking, red meat eating, excessive alcohol consumption, Obesity and lack of exercise.

Increased colon cancer risk – don’t fear the colonoscopy

There are references to a family strain, is advisable in any case, a visit to the doctor to discuss the need for a colonoscopy. With the colonoscopy, the change is at an early stage to discover and be removed, if necessary, usually in the context of the investigation.

Although Mr some still have reservations about the Insertion of the endoscope into the Anus – however, the examination is usually painless, because the Patient is in a twilight sleep and the Whole thing only takes around 15 minutes. “The risk of the treatment of vulnerable side effects moves in tenths of a percent and is, therefore, very low,” reassured, the epidemiologist.

The right time for the first colonoscopy

The time for the first colonoscopy in familial load should be at least ten years prior to the discovery of the intestinal change in the Relatives, at the latest, however, between 40 and 45 years. “The father so the age of 60 bowel cancer, should go to his children as early as 40 or 45 years of age to have a colonoscopy,” advises Korbinian Weigl and refers to the German guidelines. How often then be looked at again, depends on the result of the first investigation.

That early detection and Prevention are vital, show the survival rates. Discovered colorectal cancer at an early stage, the relative five-year survival rate of approximately 90 percent. “It is a precursor, such as an adenoma, discovered in the context of colonoscopy, the same removed, so to speak, the clock back to Zero,” explains Korbinian Weigl, the benefits of colorectal cancer screening by Endoscopy. Bowel cancer is normally rather slow, with few particularly aggressive forms.

Conclusion: When one or more family members of colorectal cancer precursors removed or colorectal cancer was found, should consult the members on any case, a gastroenterologist, even if you are considerably younger than 50 years. This screening is proposed by health insurance for women over 55 years of age for men will be lowered soon, the limit is 50 years. However, these age restrictions do not apply, if even the smallest suspicion of a bowel change is on the horizon and/or a family predisposition.