My brother died of bowel cancer 2 years ago, am I at a greater risk of developing it?
Bowel cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer affecting people in the UK. The biggest risk factor is age because most cases affect people over the age of 60.
If your brother was under the age of 45, then you have a strong family history and could be at increased risk. If he was older than 45 but you have another relative who has also had bowel cancer, you may still be at increased risk. If this is the case, your doctor will be able to refer you to a geneticist to look into your risk more closely.
You may be eligible for regular screening tests to pick up any early signs of cancer.
Answered by Dr Emmajane Down.
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