Family histories were obtained from 50 patients with adenocarcinoma of the colon or rectum in north-east Scotland. A comparable control group was similarly interviewed and in each group the case notes of the first degree relatives were studied where possible. Eight (16%) of the patients with cancer of the colon or rectum had a close relative with intestinal cancer compared with one (2%) of the control group. The patients with a positive family history of cancer of the large intestine did not have a higher proportion with adenomatous polyps nor were they younger than those patients with no such family history.
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