Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Risk Evaluation Program

At Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, we are national leaders in the field of gastrointestinal cancer genetics. We are one of the first to establish a Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Risk Evaluation Program in the country and are home to nationally recognized specialists in the field of gastrointestinal cancer.

If you are concerned about the risk of gastrointestinal cancer, it's important to have the best team of experts. Our team provides information, care and support to help patients throughout the entire risk evaluation program. We are familiar with and are able to provide clinical, genetic and research services for people with concerns about the following conditions:

  • Hereditary and familial colon cancer: Diseases including familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), or Lynch syndrome predisposes people to develop colon polyps, which are benign growths, and colon cancer. An early diagnosis combined with appropriate treatment and follow-up can dramatically lower the chances of developing colon cancer. In addition, other conditions that are evaluated include: MYH associated polyposis (MAP), Peutz-Jeghers syndrome and Juvenile Polypsis.
  • Hereditary and familial pancreatic cancer: This includes those with BRCA2, p16INK4a or SKT11 mutations as well as those with family history.
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer: This includes those with the E-cadherin mutation
  • Gastrointestinal sarcomas

Who is at Risk for Gastrointestinal Cancer?

People with one close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has colon or another type of gastrointestinal cancer, may be at an increased risk for cancer. Patients already diagnosed with a gastrointestinal cancer may be concerned about cancer risk in other family members.

Those who may have an increased risk of an inherited gastrointestinal cancer include:

  • People with multiple relatives with some type of cancer
  • People who have been diagnosed with colon polyps or colon cancer or another gastrointestinal cancer at an early age
  • People who have multiple relatives with colon polyps
  • People who have relatives with different forms of cancer
  • People with multiple, different cancers

If a patient, or a relative of a patient, is concerned about their risk for developing gastrointestinal cancer, the Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk Evaluation Program can help answer such questions as:

  • What is my level of risk for developing gastrointestinal cancer?
  • How can I protect myself?
  • What about the risk to my family members?
  • Would testing for inherited forms of cancer be helpful?