What is the prevalence of hereditary colorectal cancer?

Updated: Jun 06, 2020
  • Author: Jaime Shalkow, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Cameron K Tebbi, MD  more...
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Most cases of CRC are not inherited as cancer-predisposition syndromes. However, hereditary colorectal cancer is not uncommon; 4-5% of cases are due to Lynch syndrome, and perhaps another 6% are caused by other various hereditary cancer syndromes. [34]

Awareness of hereditary colorectal cancer is important to family members, who can direct treatment and cancer surveillance and prevention options.

Lynch syndrome is inherited as an autosomal dominant condition, leading to increased risks of CRC, as well as endometrial, ovarian, gastric, and several other cancers. When one gene is mutated in the germline, there is a high likelihood that the individual will acquire a second somatic mutation in the other copy (allele) of that gene. Then, the cell will no longer be able to repair mismatch mutations in the DNA. [34]

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