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Colorectal Cancer > Risk Management Options

Colorectal Cancer Risk Management

Every person is at risk for colorectal cancer and the risk increases with age. The average lifetime risk for colorectal cancer is about 4 percent. This means that 1 out of every 25 people will get colorectal cancer in their lifetime, usually after age 60. People with an inherited mutation in one of the genes listed below have a higher-than-average risk for colorectal cancer, often at a younger age. 

Genes with Colorectal Cancer Risk-Management Guidelines
APC, BMPR1A, CHEK2, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, PMS2, POLE, PTEN, SMAD4, STK11, TP53

Genetic counseling and testing can help you learn if you have an inherited mutation in one of these genes. There are different expert guidelines for colorectal cancer risk management, which are based on your level of risk. See below for more information about different risk -management options. Speak with your healthcare provider to decide on a risk management plan and schedule that is right for you. 

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Study: Resistant starch may help prevent some cancers in people with Lynch syndrome

This study looked at whether a type of nutrient known as resistant starch could lower the risk of cancers in people with Lynch Syndrome. Researchers found that resistant starch can reduce the risk of non-colorectal...

Risk-Management Options

Screening

Most colorectal cancers start as an abnormal growth known as a polyp. The goal of screening is to find and remove polyps and growths before they can turn into cancer. If cancer has already formed, early detection can help improve a person’s chance of survival.

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Medications to Reduce Risk

Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to lower the risk for colorectal cancer in people with an increased risk for cancer.  

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Surgery to Reduce Risk

Colectomy is surgery to remove some or all of the colon. People with a very high risk for colorectal cancer, may choose to have colectomy to lower their risk. Read more about the guidelines and different types of surgery options for high risk people.

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Last updated February 13, 2024