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A new method of examining malignant tumors may help determine if the family of cancer patients should seek colon cancer testing. The technique could help identify millions of people who are at risk for the condition, allowing them to seek treatment at an earlier stage.
Colon cancer is largely brought on by lifestyle, but some people may have inheritable risk factors that increase their chances of developing the condition. The process developed by researchers at the UT Southwest Medical Center helps determine if someone with colon cancer has it due to genetic or lifestyles factors. This enables doctors to see if they should recommend colon cancer testing to the rest of the patient's family.
"If we can bring in family members of those who have been diagnosed, we have a chance to catch their colon cancer early and even prevent it," said Dr. Samir Gupta, one of the researchers who developed the testing method.
He added that it is relatively rare for colon cancer to be caused by genetic factors. However, when it is, it often progresses more quickly and can be more deadly.
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