van der Meulen-de Jong AE, Morreau H, Becx MC et al.
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Editor’s note: Familial colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogeneous condition that includes hereditary cases of CRC as well as sporadic cases that aggregate in families but are different from the well-categorized inherited syndromes (e.g. familiar adenomatous polyposis, Lynch syndrome, hamartomatous polyposis). It has been demonstrated that first-degree relatives of patients with CRC have a two- to three-fold increased risk of developing this neoplasm compared with the general population, and that this risk varies depending on the number of relatives, the kinship, and the age at cancer diagnosis (Gastroenterology 2009;137:404–9). Although it is accepted that these individuals benefit from commencing screening at a younger age, the screening recommendations are yet to be defined because of the lack of prospective controlled studies