May 102011

Just over five years ago my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. It was treated successfully with only a few minor setbacks in the way of open wounds and infections. After various other tests brought about, I think, by his brother getting cancer at a similar age it turns out he has a gene defect in his third chromosome; the defect, known as MLH1, gives rise to โ€˜hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancerโ€˜ (HNPCC). People with this gene defect have about an 80% chance of getting colorectal cancer at some point in their life โ€“ usually between the ages of 40 and 60 depending on the actual type of cancer.

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