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GREM1 gene


The GREM1 gene codes for a protein that helps cells differentiate.  In other words, it tells new cells if they are going to become a brain cell or a skin cell, for example.  Mutations in this gene increase a person’s risk for colorectal cancer by highly increasing the amount of colon polyps that develop.  According to NCCN guidelines, it is recommended that someone with this condition begins getting colonoscopies every two to three years between the ages of 25 and 30.  Additionally, if polyps are found, colonoscopies should be increased to every one to two years and surgical options should be considered.  This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, meaning each first degree relative (parent, child, and sibling) of an individual with this condition has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease causing mutation.