Guidelines for genetic testing in people diagnosed with colorectal cancer
Up to 10% of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer have an inherited mutation that caused their cancer. There are national guidelines that outline who should consider genetic counseling and testing for an inherited mutation linked to cancer.
Guidelines for colorectal cancer tumor testing followed by genetic testing
Experts recommend that all colorectal tumors have testing to look for an abnormality known as "" () at the time of diagnosis. This abnormality is commonly found in the cancers of people with an inherited gene mutation linked to .
Additional guidelines for genetic testing in people diagnosed with colorectal cancer
Genetic counseling and testing for an inherited mutation is also recommended for people diagnosed with colorectal cancer who have any of the following:
Other people diagnosed with colorectal cancer who may benefit from genetic counseling and testing
People with colorectal cancer may benefit from additional genetic counseling and expanded genetic testing if they had genetic testing in the past, tested negative, and:
All colorectal cancer survivors and those in treatment should speak with a genetics expert to decide if genetic testing is right for them.
Genetic testing for relatives of people who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer
Genetic counseling and testing is also recommended for anyone with a first-degree or second-degree relative who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer before age 50.
See our section Genetic Testing for People Who Have Never Been Diagnosed with Cancer for additional guideline information.
Health care providers who are specially trained in genetics can help you more clearly understand your risk for . The following resources can help you locate a genetics expert in your area.
- The National Society of Genetic Counselor website offers a searchable directory for finding a genetic counselor by state and specialty. To find a genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics, choose "cancer" under the options "Area of Practice/Specialization."
- InformedDNA is a network of board-certified genetic counselors providing this service by telephone. They can also help you find a qualified expert in your area for face-to-face genetic counseling if that is your preference.
- JScreen is a national program based out of Emory University that provides low-cost at-home genetic counseling and testing with financial assistance available.
- Grey Genetics provides access to genetic counselors who offer genetic counseling by telephone.
- The Genetic Support Foundation offers genetic counseling with board-certified genetic counselors.
- FORCE's toll-free helpline at: 866-288-RISK, ext. 704 will connect you with a volunteer board-certified genetic counselor who can answer general questions about genetic testing and cancer and help you find a genetics expert near you.
- FORCE Peer Navigator Program will match you with a volunteer who has undergone genetic counseling and can help you navigate resources to find a genetic counselor near you.
- Ask your doctor for a referral to a genetics expert.
The following organizations offer peer support services for people with or at high risk for colorectal cancer:
- FORCE peer support
- Visit our message boards.
- Once you register, you can post on the Diagnosed With Cancer board to connect with other people who have been diagnosed.
- Sign up for our Peer Navigation Program.
- Users are matched with a volunteer who shares your mutation and situation.
- Join our private Facebook group.
- Find a virtual or in-person support meeting.
- Join a Zoom community group meeting.
- American Sign Language
- People of Color
- Visit our message boards.
- Colorectal Cancer Alliance
- AliveAndKickn for people with