Knowing your family history of bowel, or any other cancer, can be an important step in determining your risk of developing the disease.
If you believe there is a strong history of bowel cancer within your family, make an appointment with your GP to discuss your concerns. If your doctor agrees with you, he or she may refer you to the New Zealand Familial Gastrointestinal Cancer Registry.
A genetic counsellor will assess your family history based on information you provide about who has been affected, how old they were at the time of diagnosis, and the site where their cancer developed. With your consent, blood tests may be taken as part of the investigation.