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What Is The Colon Cancer Genetic Test?

By June 4, 2009 - 5:53pm
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My grandmother always tells me that when I'm older it is important for me to have a colonoscopy since many of her relatives have had colon cancer.

I recently heard there is a genetic test for colon cancer and I want to tell my grandmother about it. That way, if she is tested, I have a better idea if my mother and I should also be tested. That way, we would know if we should be screening earlier.

My mother already gets colonoscopies since she is in the age bracket for that test, but maybe she should be tested more regularly.

Anyway, what is the name of the genetic mutation for colon cancer and what steps should I take to inform my grandmother and convince her to get the genetic test? She can be a very stubborn woman (maybe that's where I get that from).

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Thank you both for sharing this useful information with me. As soon as I speak with my grandmother, I'll let you know what she said.

Thank you again!

June 19, 2009 - 2:23pm

The link that alysiak sent also mentions another test, the BAT26:

"Physicians may one day combine the APC test with another test designed to detect mutations in a gene called BAT26 that Vogelstein and his colleagues will report in the February 2, 2002, issue of the British medical journal, The Lancet. "This complementary assay could pick up a significant fraction of the cancers that we might miss through the APC assays, and together the tests could probably detect over 80 percent of the lesions," he said."

Probably the best way to convince your grandmother is that this test is:
- non-invasive (stool sample is all that is needed)
- there is a lack of false-positives (so no scary test results that you may/may not be able to depend on)
- this test (or both of them, combined) could be the key to early detection, in which surgery would be successful (as you know, colon cancer's treatment success rate is low due to the lack of early detection options)

That is certainly motivating to me!

I am not sure what stage this research is in currently for these tests; if they are both being conducted in the clinical setting (your doctor can provide more information on this).

Good luck! Let us know what your grandmother's response is!

June 16, 2009 - 8:17pm

I believe you're asking about the test for the APC gene.

Coincidentally enough, I was just advised by my doctor, today, that I need to have another colonoscopy done because my latest CT scan shows something she's concerned enough about to have checked by my GI specialist. My grandfather had colon and stomach cancer, side effects of lupus - that I also have. I have to be checked roughly every 5-6 years (I'm almost 60).

I would advise your grandmother that you need to know if she's a carrier of the gene - and to practice what she preaches, LOL!

Yes, I know stubborn - I'm that way, too. :))

But, because my son just announced he and his wife are expecting a new arrival next spring, I'm making sure they''re getting a complete health history from me.

More information:

New noninvasive test for colorectal cancer shows promise

June 16, 2009 - 4:21pm
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