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AMA News Room

March 12, 2013

AMA Recognizes National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

For immediate release:
March 12, 2013

Offers web-based educational program on hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes to physicians

CHICAGO — In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the American Medical Association (AMA) is highlighting a web-based educational program designed to help primary providers identify hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes in their patients.

"Rapid developments in genomic medicine have made it possible for physicians to identify hereditary cancer symptoms by looking for specific clues in a patient's personal and family medical history," said AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD. "We developed this educational program to help physicians identify, evaluate, communicate with and manage patients at increased risk for colorectal cancer."

Colorectal cancer affects approximately 140,000 individuals annually in the U.S. Like other cancers, it develops due to a combination of genetic, biologic and environmental factors interacting together. Approximately 5-10 percent of colorectal cancers are caused by a hereditary syndrome in which a single gene alteration conveys a high risk of colorectal and sometimes other cancers. Individuals suspected to have a hereditary cancer syndrome can sometimes be offered genetic testing to aid in the diagnosis.

The course, offered by the AMA and the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG), is available in both an enduring format and a performance improvement format. The enduring format has been certified for 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™, while participants who complete all three stages of the performance improvement format are eligible for 20.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Learn more about the course.

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Shannon (O'Brien) Breymaier
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-4443


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