A Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Clinic

Think you have a strong family history of bowel cancer?

Do you know if anyone in your family has had bowel (also known as colorectal) cancer or any other kind of cancer? Talk to your family and make sure you all know your family history.   This would for example be particularly important for those people with a history of bowel cancer diagnosis under age 50 years, or with 2 people in their family affected with bowel cancer.

If you think you have a strong family history of bowel cancer, you should make an appointment with your GP to talk about your concerns. If your GP agrees with you, they can refer you to a specialist family cancer clinic at St Mark’s Hospital, or at satellite clinics at West Middlesex University Hospital and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.  The specialist will go through your family history with you in great detail and ask you to provide accurate information about who has been affected, how old they were when they were diagnosed, and the site where their cancer developed. You may also have to have blood tests as part of this investigation.

You will talk about what types of screening they would recommend, at what age you (and/or other family members) should start being screened and how often you should be screened. Regular screening will ensure that any signs of bowel changes and early cancer are spotted and treated quickly.  You can also discuss other ways to reduce your risk through your lifestyle.

Who we are

DrKevinMonahanDr Kevin Monahan (Service lead) spent 3 years working at Cancer Research UK where I completed my PhD in cancer genetics with funding from the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research.  I moved to the Family Cancer Clinic at St Mark’s Hospital in Harrow this April.

The team includes other gastroenterologists Prof Huw Thomas (lead) and Dr Andy Latchford, and members of the Polyposis Registry team.

Hannah Shipman, Nadia Preitner and Natalie Ellery are Genetic Counsellors from the North West Thames Regional Genetics Service.  They advise patients before genetic testing.

The other members of the team are from the Departments of Gastroenterology, Endoscopy, Colorectal Surgery and Cancer Services at St Mark’s Hospital, and at satellite centres  West Middlesex University Hospital, and Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals NHS Trust.

More information may be obtained by clicking here


13 thoughts on “About the Clinic

  1. This is incredibly good. I was shocked to find this info so well put together, definitely going to post this on facebook so the husband can find it. Cheers!

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  4. Hello, I’m Alyssa from the blog, Learning to Live By Defying the Odds. Right now I’m working with the Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Foundation, helping them plan a hereditary colon cancer (HCC) disease awareness event. The event doesn’t begin until October, but we’re starting to make announcements this weekend and leading up to the event date. The event is called the It Takes Guts! 21 Day Challenge. It’s purpose is to help those in the HCC disease community work towards a personal goal, to help improve physical or emotional well-being. We’re also raising awareness for all HCC diseases as well! Let me know if you’re interested and I can send you more info and the link to the online invitation!

    Hope you’re doing well!

    Thank you,


    Posted by alyzee17 | August 17, 2013, 3:22 pm
  5. Thank you for the information. I was great help for me.. My sister has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and its hard to see her in this tough situation. she has been admitted to CSCS Australia(http://colorectal-surgeon.com.au/) .. doctors have assured a speedy recovery.

    Posted by Anna | November 6, 2014, 10:40 am
  6. My family cannot stress the importance of identifying the risks of HNPCC LS together with your GP and especially to advise and guide younger adult members of the family who may be dismissive or deny themselves the chance of early surveillance. Some GPs still need to be “educated” and in these cases one recommends seeking a referral or making contact with the local genetics nurse / specialist. My brother died at 37. I was found to have colon cancer at 40, our own son died at just 30 and our daughter who was “scoped” avoided more serious problems after evidence was found. We and relevant of my family are regularly scoped etc. It seems to affect the next generation about 7 years earlier than in the preceding generation with CC.

    Posted by Howard Goodrick | July 23, 2015, 10:14 am
    • I found this very useful, having learned recently of someone I know well having, age 35 almost symptom-free CC, which had already metastasised to the liver. Did this happen in the case of your son?

      Posted by ANN | September 9, 2016, 12:25 pm
  7. Hi I wanted to make an appointment to see someone as my sister died four months ago of bowel cancer I have had an colonoscopy and they have found some thing and have taken biopsies and seem to think I have lynich syndrome some one from genetics did call me but heard nothing since

    Posted by Kerry wright | November 6, 2015, 11:57 am
  8. My sons father aged 45 has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and also cancer in the blood stream! My son is aged 18 should I get him checked out?

    Posted by Samantha | March 30, 2016, 3:05 pm
    • If someone is diagnosed under the age of 50 they should have a genetic assessment… I would suggest your son’s father first – if that is not possible then your son could speak to his GP about referral

      Posted by kjmonahan | March 31, 2016, 7:39 am
  9. My father’s father died of bowel cancer, my father has had bowel cancer removed, has skin cancer, and prostrate cancer and is now seriously ill. My mother has also had bowel cancer, uterine cancer, and ulcerative colitis, and a huge cyst the size of a grapefruit removed from her stomach, now she is hospitalised, possibly slowly dying. My mother’s mother died from bowel cancer after much of her bowel was removed, My mother’s sister died very slowly and painfully because it took so long for her to be diagnosed, despite numerous tests, by the time it was found it had spread to her lungs and further and kept on till she died. My mother’s brother has regular surgery to have polyps removed. My sister has just had something removed, urgently, from her bowels, My sister has Chrones and diabetes(as does everyone else in my mother’s family). My Great grandparents died from cancer in their fifties. I had a colonoscopy in 2002 that was so horrific I thought death would be better. I understand they are much better now or perhaps there is an alternative. I have been struggling with illness, stomach pain, a feeling of a lump in my stomach, which the doctor dismissed. Going to the toilet has been a nightmare for years and eating is painful. Blood passed when I went to the toilet and I let my doctor know, they already knew my family history, my doctor then referred me to a Gastroenterologist, I was referred in September 2015, I finally got an appointment in July 2016 but wastoo ill to attend on the day. eventually I discovered I had been put back to the bottom of the waiting list. The appointments people could not help. They said I had to speak to my doctor to try and hurry things up as I am becoming more and more ill. I spoke to my doctor and she said no it was up the appointment people. I have a feeling now it has become too late. I cannot see how to get help. I have just been heaped with numerous morphine based pain killers and diazapem and microlax enemas. I am awaiting a urology scan.

    Posted by Susie Bright | October 8, 2016, 10:07 pm

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