Family matters when it comes to colon cancer, a new study finds. Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston say that if you were treated for colon cancer and have a family history of it, you may live longer than someone without a familial link.

Doctors are not quite sure of the reason behind the connection, but the study states that closer monitoring did not appear to cause a better survival rate, nor did other factors like diet, exercise and smoking.

Real Health reported in March that African Americans do not get nearly as many colonoscopies as whites, simply because they do not get a referral from the doctor.

Colon cancer can strike at any age, though typical cases affect those ages 50 and older. Experts suggest a colonoscopy every five to 10 years. But if a polyp is found, the colonoscopy may need to be repeated within one or two years. Speak to your health care provider about your screening options.

Learn more from the Colon Cancer Alliance.