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One for Colorectal Cancer

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing firm 23andMe announced earlier this week that it is adding another genetic health risk report to its stable, as GenomeWeb has reported.

It adds that the US Food and Drug Administration cleared 23andMe's test examining MUTYH gene variants, which contribute to someone's risk of developing MUTYH-associated polyposis and colorectal cancer. As GenomeWeb notes, this follows on the clearance of other health risk reports from 23andMe, including its BRCA1 and BRCA2 report last year and a number of others in 2017.

As Time magazine notes, only about 5 percent of colorectal cancers are hereditary and that most of those can be traced to a different condition, Lynch syndrome. It adds that MUTYH variants are present in about 1 percent to 2 percent of the population, and that other factors like diet, exercise, obesity, and drinking also influence whether someone develops colorectal cancer.

That, it adds, both means that people who receive negative results on the test could still develop colorectal cancer and that people who receive positive results may not develop colorectal cancer. "Just because you have the gene does not guarantee that you'll get the disease or syndrome," Stacey Cohen from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance tells Time. "Any genetic information needs to be interpreted on an individualized level."

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