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Stomach Cancer Risks and Prevention

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania is a national leader in the field of gastrointestinal cancer genetics. Penn Medicine was one of the first in the country to establish a Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Risk Evaluation Program.

If concerned about the risk of gastrointestinal cancer, it's important to have the best team of experts.

The GI Cancer Risk Evaluation Program at the Abramson Cancer Center has specialists nationally recognized for their expertise in cancer and genetics and can provide information, care and support to help patients throughout the entire risk evaluation program.

Penn's GI Cancer Risk team is familiar with and 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) and 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?

If you have at least one close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has colon or another type of gastrointestinal cancer, you may be at an increased risk for cancer. Patients already diagnosed with a gastrointestinal cancer and 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 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

About the Program

If you or a relative 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?