A practical approach to familial and hereditary colorectal cancer

Am J Med. 1999 Jul;107(1):68-77. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9343(99)00168-0.


Recent genetic research has isolated the primary genetic defect underlying many of the hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes. Obtaining a detailed family history is the first step in identifying individuals at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Once identified, individuals and their families may benefit from earlier, more intensified surveillance, prophylactic surgery, cancer risk assessment and education, and genetic testing. Clinicians, especially those with many patients with colorectal cancer in their practice, must be able to address the complex issues associated with the familial and hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes. A well-integrated partnership among colorectal surgeons, gastroenterologists, oncologists, and medical geneticists is necessary to address these complex issues and provide comprehensive medical care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / genetics
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pedigree
  • Risk
  • Syndrome