Family history of colon cancer might help patients live longer

June 3, 2008 2:21:51 PM PDT
Colon cancer patients with a family history of the disease may live longer once treated than those without the family link. The reason why is still not clear. But researchers believe it may be that tumors in family clusters are of a type that behave differently compared to those that are random.

Having a parent or sibling with colon cancer results in twice the risk of the disease compared to those without a family history. But less is known about survival rates in such families.

The findings are in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.