The COLARIS® test assesses a person's risk of developing hereditary colorectal cancer, and, for women, the risk of developing hereditary uterine or ovarian cancer. This genetic test is designed to be taken by those with a personal or family history of colorectal adenomas, and by those who develop colorectal or uterine cancer before the age of 50. Assuming mutations in certain gene markers are found, taking a COLARIS test may allow for a more proactive approach to possible later-in-life diagnoses of these and other cancers.
Purpose of COLARIS Testing
Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), also known as Lynch syndrome, is the most common form of hereditary colon cancer. HNPCC is estimated to account for 3 to 5 percent of all colorectal cancers. The COLARIS test is designed to find the gene markers associated with HNPCC. Mutations in certain genes mean a person has a higher risk of developing certain cancers, including:
- Colorectal cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Stomach cancer
Sebaceous adenomas, which are noncancerous tumors of an oil-producing gland, are also more common in those with Lynch syndrome.
Taking the test is extremely simple, requiring only that a blood sample, or oral rinse sample, be taken and then tested for mutations within the MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, EPCAM and MYH genes, which are responsible for HNPCC and related cancers. A person who has a mutation in even one of those genes is considered to have HNPCC.
Benefits of COLARIS Testing
Should gene mutations be found, the benefit of COLARIS testing is that it enables the development of a patient-specific medical-management plan that may reduce the risk of cancer. COLARIS testing may help a patient to:
- Begin cancer screening at an earlier age
- Opt for risk-reducing medications and preventive surgery
- Prevent a second cancer if one has already been diagnosed
- Improve outcomes and reduce medical costs through early intervention