Thank you for writing in today. At times, I find it is particularly helpful to clarify information, just to ensure I have interpreted the information properly. At this point, you are telling me your father has no colon cancer history, but he has had multiple myeloma. Your sister has breast cancer (currently). You have had skin cancer; however, it is resolved. Please clarify if this information is not correct. Also, I would like to clarify your question. You want to know your risk of colon cancer? Or, have you been diagnosed with colon cancer? I really appreciate the inclusion of your family and personal cancer history; however, please clarify your current situation and questions, especially if different from what I've mentioned here. Please let me know. Lisa
Thank you for writing in today. Well, depending on the research you read, information regarding whether or not breast cancer and colon cancer are related varies. However, even of those studies that correlate the two cancers, there really isn't an increased risk of the disease. The correlation is more about a change in the way the disease progresses. I will explain. Some research has found that women WITH the BRCA disease that do develop colon cancer seem to develop it more quickly. However, again, this does not mean that there is an increased risk of colon cancer. It just means that it tends to develop more quickly in those with the BRCA gene. Now, since your sister is not positive for the BRCA, that is great. Also, a negative family history of colon cancer is also very positive. Colon cancer risk is heavily influenced by family history, so this is also a positive. Overall, I would not consider her to have a high risk of colon cancer. However, I do want to point out that even if colon cancer does develop in a person, the mortality associated with colon cancer has decreased over the last decade (recently released data). This reduction in mortality rates is closely related to careful screening; therefore, I would recommend compliance with annual fecal occult blood testing and routine colonoscopy. This is essential for anyone. I hope this helps to answer your question. If you have additional questions or need clarification, please let me know. Lisa
Great news. I understand Rita's risk(sister) and mine is as orginally stated, very low. So, tomorrow I will not be as anxious but very hungry. Does the fact that neither my sister or myself have any of the signs of colon cancer in our favor?
No family history of colon cancer and no symptoms, such as changes in stool characteristics or frank bleeding, are very good signs. However, keep in mind that colon cancer can actually present with no or hidden symptoms, such as blood in the stool, so it's important to have your annual fecal occult blood test and routine colonoscopy. At this point, I think you both should feel comfortable about your risk, but even if lower risk, you should still have your regular screenings, as I mentioned. I hope this helps. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please let me know. Lisa