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    Alcoholic dad had colon cancer. What are my chances of genetic hereditary cancer ???
    An_255390 posted:
    I am 36 yr old and my dad was diagnosed and died with colon cancer at 57. He used to be a heavy alcohol drinker and I suspect that's what caused his colon cancer. None of my other family members have any kinds of cancers. I am a social drinker and only drink 4-6 times per month. I am wondering what are my chances of getting colon cancer and at what age should I have my first colonoscopy done? I am very worried if I am candidate for genetic colon cancer. Please advice.
    georgiagail responded:
    Genetically linked colon cancer is pretty rare; you can read about it (including screening) here. It generally requires several generations to meet the criteria:
    dave6 replied to georgiagail's response:
    thanks for your response. So you think I should be quite safe and that my chances are low ? I am too worried about it and curious to know if I should keep it out of my mind.
    tammyrobo replied to dave6's response:
    There's no way of knowing how safe you are unless you get tested. My paternal grandmother had colon cancer in her early sixties and died from it. I always knew I would need to be tested when I got older. Well shortly after my 40th birthday I had some bleeding so my GI doctor thought it was hemmroids but because of my grandmother she said let's just get my first colonoscopy out of the way. Well it turned out I had stage 3 rectal cancer.

    If you have family history, regardless of what you may think caused your father's cancer you should have your first colonoscopy by age 40.

    After I was finished with everything I went back for genetic testing and with what they can test for so far they were not able to find any genetic link. I have 4 other siblings and thank God none of them have to go through what I did. Now because I had it at such a young age my nieces and nephews have to be tested at 30 (I have no children).

    Colon cancer is a slow grower and easily cured if caught in the polop stage, because they can remove it at the same time they are doing your colonoscopy with no further treatment needed.

    I wish you all the best. You have a few years till your 40 to think about it. The test itself is really no big deal. You drink some liquid, go to the bathroom a lot, then get up the next morning and 15 minutes after putting you under you're all done.
    junebugjelly replied to tammyrobo's response:
    Very well said tammyrobo. I am a 9 year stage 4 rectal cancer survivor. Nobody else in my family had ever been diagnosed with colonrectal cancer but that doesn't mean they didn't have it; they might have died of other causes before the colon cancer was found. Everybody in my family after me, i.e., my siblings, children, grandchildren, etc. now must be checked to be on the safe side. If it is in your family history or even if it is not as in my case, everyone should have a colonoscopy on the 50th birthday.
    dave6 replied to tammyrobo's response:
    Do I have to wait till I am 40 to get colonoscopy done? I am 36 now and is it ok to get it done now? I talked to my family dr and she advised me to wait till 40. What If I get it done now, will it give inaccurate results?
    junebugjelly replied to dave6's response:
    You can request to have one now if it is in your family history. I'm not a doctor but I don't think there is any way to get an "inaccurate result" from a colonoscopy. Colonrectal cancer usually begins with benign polyps. So you either have them or you don't. If they find them they snip them off and test them to see if it is cancer. If the polyp has already turned into a cancerous mass...then you have to determine what the treatment will be, i.e., just surgery, radiation and/or chemo. If you have colonrectal cancer in your family history if I were you I would be getting my colonoscopy now.
    dave6 replied to junebugjelly's response:
    But when I discussed with Dr, she wants me to wait till I turn 40. I am confused and worried. Since I am only 36, can I wait another 4 years? If I want to get colonoscopy now, it will be hard for me to convince my Dr
    ike1954 replied to dave6's response:
    Hmmm let see who is paying who for the service here? If your dr. will not consider a test you request - may be time to change drs I had stage 3, they wanted to wait 3 years for a next colonoscopy after surgical removal of the cancer. I told the drs.
    "Let's make sure nothing is there before we extend time." They agreed. If they hadn't, I would have changed. Explain you anxiety to you dr., if there is no sympathy to it get a new one.
    Anon_62785 replied to dave6's response:
    Your CEA level can give you a possible hint - just be careful - my sons Doctors told him it was due to his history of UC - - but it was cancer. CEA was 54

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