Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Director of Health Promotion co-authors best practices paper on educating individuals and families about hereditary risk across cancer types

Colorectal cancer researcher and Director of Health Promotion Andrea (Andi) Dwyer co-authored a paper recently as part of a collaborative effort across 14 patient advocacy organizations to inform and educate on the genetic risks of cancer.

The paper entitled “Understanding Hereditary Cancer in the Era of Multi-Gene Panel Testing” offers key insights into the changing needs of individuals and family members who might be at risk for hereditary cancer. The paper also includes discussion of how advocacy groups and health care providers can support individuals along the continuum of the potential testing journey.

“It was important, as a representative of Fight CRC, to attend this working meeting to help construct a paper to help bring attention to the issues that are relevant to colorectal cancer that are different than other cancers,” said Dwyer.

Colorectal cancer is one of the 14 cancers mentioned in the paper where a genetic risk is known. The paper includes background on cancer genetics, highlights considerations for individuals, their families and health care providers and calls for continued collaboration among advocacy groups. The co-authoring organizations agreed on the need for a united approach in providing resources and educating cancer patients and those at risk.

To learn more about the genetic syndromes of colorectal cancer, watch the March 2016 webinar led by Heather Herrmann.

About Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing

Hereditary cancer occurs when a gene that normally helps to prevent cancer is altered (or mutated). People with hereditary cancers are more likely to have relatives with the same type or a related type of cancer. In addition, they often develop cancer at an earlier than average age, and may also develop more than one cancer in their lifetime.

Hereditary cancer genetic tests analyze the DNA of genes known to be associated with certain types of cancers for changes or alterations. A single mutation may increase risk for several different cancer types while several mutations may increase risk for a single type of cancer. Some alterations are not associated with any known increased cancer risk. Individuals should discuss their cancer family history with a genetic counselor or other qualified healthcare professional.

About Fight Colorectal Cancer

Fight Colorectal Cancer is a community of activists who find it unacceptable that colorectal cancer - a preventable disease - is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. In 2005, we were founded by survivors and family members who believed in making a difference. Since then we have grown to be a leading, national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. known for our advocacy. Our team plays an important role in making medical information practical for survivors and their families and provides trusted resources that guide patients from diagnosis through survivorship. We unite the colorectal cancer community by empowering anyone impacted by this disease to share their story, advocate for better policies and get involved in the research process. We are one million strong and we won't stop fighting until there's a cure.