Two studies have linked a specific genetic variant to an increased risk of colon cancer, the BBC reports. About half the population has the permutation, which was linked to a 20% increased risk of developing colon cancer and accounts for 1 of ten cases. But the risk isn't significant enough to warrant developing a genetic test for the variant, researchers concluded.
Investigators hope that several genes tied to colorectal cancers will be identified in the future and tests will be developed to identify all of them for early treatment. "It may be possible for scientists to design treatments to prevent people at increased risk of the disease from developing bowel cancer altogether," said a researcher. (Read more cancer stories.)