Colorectal Cancer (Adults)

Colorectal Cancer (Adults): Understanding Your Results

What is colorectal cancer?

  • Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the colon or rectum, it is called colorectal cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum.
  • Genetic and lifestyle factors like diet, physical activity and smoking can lead to colorectal cancer.

What does high risk for colorectal cancer mean?

  • High risk for colorectal cancer means that you had a positive genetic test for higher risk of colon cancer.

What can you do to lower your risk for colorectal cancer?

  • Not everyone who is at high risk for colorectal cancer will get it. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to decrease your chances of getting colorectal cancer. You can lower your risk by:
    • Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, staying at a healthy weight, doing regular physical activity, quitting smoking and drinking less alcohol
    • Start colorectal cancer screening early. For specific recommendations, see the Invitae gene-specific general guidelines at Discuss screening with your doctor or other healthcare provider, who can find up-to-date screening information at
  • Discuss medications and other treatments with your doctor or other healthcare provider.

What are your next steps?

  • You should share these results with your doctor(s) or other healthcare provider to discuss actions to be taken to lower your risk.
  • Share your results with your family members.
  • Your results will be uploaded to your electronic health record for you to review and will be available to your doctor(s) and other healthcare providers.
  • If you have any questions about your results, please contact the study team at your institution. You can find this contact information on the cover page of the GIRA.

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