When should members of your family get colon cancer screening? Dr. Smitha Krishnamurthi from Cleveland Clinic shares screening guidelines for family members and discusses the necessity of genetic counseling.
Dr. Smitha Krishnamurthi is a gastrointestinal medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Learn more about Dr. Krishnamurthi here.
If you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, what is the guidance for screening family members, such as children and siblings?
Yes, this is an excellent question. We tell all our patients who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer that their first-degree relatives should start screening by age 40, but also 10 years younger than the youngest affected member of the family. So, whichever is younger.
If my patient is 45, definitely that person needs to have genetic counseling because they’re young for colorectal cancer. Then we’d recommend at least start by age 35 for their children or siblings, even if no inherited cause is found.
Okay, all right.