Surveillance of colorectal cancer in high risk groups ~ Health Guide

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Surveillance of colorectal cancer in high risk groups

Written by Mystic on Monday, August 04, 2008

People within high risk groups need to be considered for regular surveillance from their doctor. If you are unsure of your risk of colorectal cancer you should discuss this with your doctor at your yearly health check-up.

The Cancer Council South Australia Familial Cancer Registry has been established to advise families with FAP, HNPCC and some other genetic mutations about screening and early detection. For further information please telephone 08 8161 6995.

A screening procedure which is not yet widely available is genetic testing. It is most important that family members and/or an individual receive adequate formal genetic counselling before and after genetic testing.

For FAP, a specific blood test can in most cases positively identify a carrier of the FAP gene before adenoma and/or cancer develop and exclude FAP in family members whose gene test is negative. Genetic testing in HNPCC is also available. The Familial Cancer Unit can assist families with information about gene testing and genetic counselling. Please telephone the Familial Cancer Unit on 08 8161 7375.

For information about the South Australian Familial Cancer Service please phone or email the Cancer Genetics Education Project Officer at The Cancer Council South Australia Ph: 08 8291 4111, Email:

People in high risk groups should have regular tests for bowel changes before they develop any symptoms or signs of colorectal cancer. These tests may be sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy or a combination of both. They help to detect pre-cancerous growths which can be removed before they develop into cancer.

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