Genetic risk

Some bowel cancers are linked to genetic conditions, which run in families. Your risk of developing bowel cancer may be higher if you have a family history.

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Inherited risk factors

Some bowel cancers can be related to an inherited genetic risk, also known as a hereditary risk. This means you may have an increased risk of developing bowel cancer based on a history of cancer in your family. If you have two or more close relatives from the same side of your family who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer under the age of 50, you may have an inherited genetic condition.

If you are concerned about your risk of developing bowel cancer, you might benefit from visiting a consultant geneticist to better understand your personal risk and the options available to you.

We have highly experienced consultants in clinical genetics who specialise in assessing risk for inherited conditions and helping to manage genetic disorders. During your consultation at one of our dedicated genetic clinics, your consultant geneticist will review your medical history, and discuss your family’s medical history, to assess your cancer risk and may advise cancer genetic testing for you and your family.

While some bowel cancers are linked to an inherited genetic condition, it’s important to remember that not all bowel cancer is a result of inherited risk and if you are diagnosed with one of these genetic conditions, risk-reducing strategies, such as increased screening, means that many of these cancers can be avoided or caught at an early stage.

Genetic testing involves having a DNA test to find out if you have a genetic mutation which may cause bowel cancer. Finding out you have an inherited genetic predisposition to bowel cancer can be a worrying time and you will likely have a number of questions or concerns. Our specially trained genetic counsellors can support you and your family along with the input of our wider multidisciplinary team. 

We offer genetic testing and genetic counselling services at a number of our facilities.

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What is Lynch syndrome?

Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Dr Anju Kulkarni, at HCA UK at The Shard, explains more about genetic testing and Lynch syndrome.

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Mo's story - Living with Lynch syndrome

It might sound cliché, but knowledge really is power when it comes to Lynch. Know your risk, and ensure your family knows their risk too.

After losing his Dad to cancer when he was just 2 years old, Mo was himself diagnosed with bowel cancer at 31 years old. He later found out that his cancer was Lynch-related, Mo shares his bowel cancer story and tells us what it’s like to live with Lynch syndrome.

More about bowel cancer

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There are a range of diagnostic tests and scans available to investigate and diagnose bowel-related conditions.

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A range of support to suit you, when its needed. 


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Latest therapies and clinical trials

Advancements in genomic testing, immunotherapy, targeted therapies and access to clinical trials are transforming bowel cancer treatment.