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The Genetics of Colorectal Cancer

Approximately 25 percent of individuals with colorectal cancer have at least one relative with colorectal cancer, while 75 percent of cases are persons without a family history of the disease. Approximately 5 percent to 6 percent of colorectal cancers are due to known predisposing genetic factors. This means that the majority of colorectal cancers are, in fact, not inherited. Specifically, 3 percent to 5 percent of all cases of colorectal cancer are due to hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HPNCC), while approximately 1 percent is due to familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

The following sections will provide an overview to the genetics of colorectal cancer, as well as examples of genetic syndromes associated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer.

If you cannot find the information in which you are interested, please visit the Cancer Genetics Online Resources page in this Web site for an Internet/World Wide Web address that may contain additional information on that topic.

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)

Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colon Cancer (HPNCC)

Other Colorectal Cancer Syndromes

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