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Colon Cancer

Major Genes Involved

The genes altered in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence normally play a role in regulating the cell cycle, controlling the division and turnover of epithelial cells. DNA mutations result in a loss of function of the gene and subsequent unregulated cell growth. While many genes have been studied, the ones most commonly associated with the majority of colon cancers are APC, p53 and K-ras.

Colorectal cancer may develop in an individual who has a strong inherited risk. This occurs, for example, in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC). These patients will usually have a specific genetic alteration.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 1Colon Cancer - Developing Cancer, Major Genes Involved, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (fap), Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colon Cancer - Other Risk Factors