Know Your Family History

Fact 3

Why should you know your family’s medical history?

People who have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at an increased risk of developing the disease themselves.  That risk is even higher if the relative was diagnosed before the age of 45, or if there are multiple 1st degree relatives who have been diagnosed.

What is considered “family history” of colorectal cancer? 

Family history is:

If a family member was diagnosed with colon cancer, at what age should you start getting screened?

According to recommendations* from the American Cancer Society, you should get screened at age 40 or 10 years prior to the earliest case of colorectal cancer diagnosis in your first degree relative.

It’s important that you talk with your physician about your risk.

* American Cancer Society Guidelines on Screening and Surveillance for the Early Detection of Colorectal Adenomas and Cancer in People at Increased Risk or High Risk