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15

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Colon Cancer, Version 1.2017

2

Treatment planning

Medical history

Not all colon cancers are the same. Your

cancer doctor will want to learn all about

the cancer you have. Part 2 describes the

tests used to learn about colon cancer.

Based on the results, your treatment

can be tailored to you. This is called

personalized medicine.

Medical history

Your medical history includes any health events and

medicines you’ve taken in your life. It helps your

doctors decide if you can have surgery. It also helps

doctors assess if chemotherapy will do you more

good than harm.

Colon cancer and other health conditions can run in

families. Thus, your doctor will ask about the medical

history of your blood relatives. It’s important to know

who in your family has had what diseases and at

what ages. You doctor may ask about the health of

your siblings, your parents and their siblings, and

your grandparents and their siblings.

Colon cancer often occurs for unknown reasons.

However, some people have syndromes that

increase their chance of getting colon cancer. A

syndrome is a group of signs or symptoms that occur

together and suggest the presence of or risk for a

disease. Some syndromes that increase the risk for

colon cancer are passed down from parents to child

(inherited).

Lynch syndrome is an inherited syndrome. It’s also

called HNPCC (

h

ereditary

n

on-

p

olyposis

c

olon

c

ancer). It’s the most common type of inherited

syndrome to cause colon cancer. It also increases

the risk for other types of cancer. Even so, only 3 to

5 out of every 100 people with colon cancer have

Lynch syndrome.

FAP (

f

amilial

a

denomatous

p

olyposis) is a rare

inherited syndrome that often leads to colon cancer.

However, only 1 out of 100 people with colon cancer

have FAP. FAP starts with hundreds of polyps

forming in the colon and rectum. You are likely to

have cancer by age 50 if you have classic FAP. In

attenuated FAP, the disease starts later in life and

fewer than 100 polyps occur.

Don't lose hope! Live every day to

the fullest and share your story

with everyone you can. You will

rapidly find that there are others

all around you who are also

impacted by this disease. Together

we can build a better future.

–Sandy

Survivor, Stage III