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Is colon cancer hereditary?

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Quick Answer

Some types of colorectal cancer are hereditary and caused by genetic abnormalities or mutations. Familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer are the most common types of inherited colorectal cancers, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

These cancers can affect both men and women, and half of the children of those with the gene will inherit it. The two most common hereditary colorectal types account for less than 5 percent of incidences of colorectal cancer. As of 2014, researchers have identified several genes that cause hereditary colorectal cancers, although research to identify additional genes is ongoing, according to Hopkins Colon Cancer Center. In 1997, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered a gene mutation dubbed APC I1307K that affects around 6 percent of Jews with Eastern European ancestry.

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