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Colorectal cancer is also called colon cancer or rectal cancer. It refers to any cancer in the colon, from the beginning, called the cecum, to the end, called the rectum. Colorectal cancer occurs when the cells that line the colon or rectum become abnormal and grow out of control.
Polyps are usually benign growths that form in the colon and rectum. These polyps may progress into cancer if left untreated.
Hereditary Colorectal Cancer: What You Need to Know
- Colorectal cancer, cancer of the colon or rectum, is considered “hereditary” if there is a family history of the disease, but the exact gene that causes it is unknown.
- Symptoms of colorectal cancer may be nonspecific and mimic less serious gastrointestinal disorders. Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience unexplained digestive problems.
- Johns Hopkins Colon Cancer Risk Assessment Clinic evaluates patients who are at risk for developing colorectal cancer.
- Your doctor may recommend colorectal surgery to remove the cancerous tumors.
A family has hereditary colorectal cancer when the exact gene that causes the disease is not known. If more than one person in a family has colorectal cancer, it could mean that the potential for developing this form of cancer has been passed from one generation to the next.
Read a more in-depth article about hereditary colorectal cancer, written by Johns Hopkins gastroenterologists, which details the anatomical description of the causes of hereditary colorectal cancer.
Read our FAQs about hereditary colorectal cancer.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for hereditary colorectal cancer?
Backed by pioneering research, physicians at Johns Hopkins can offer innovative, effective care for people with or at risk of hereditary colorectal cancer.Meet our physicians:
The Colon Cancer Risk Assessment Clinic is specially designed to evaluate patients who have a family history of colon cancer.Learn more about the clinic’s services.