Identifying and testing for hereditary susceptibility to common cancers

CA Cancer J Clin. Nov-Dec 2004;54(6):309-26. doi: 10.3322/canjclin.54.6.309.


Hereditary cancer syndromes account for an estimated 5% of breast, ovarian, and colon cancers. The rapid discovery of cancer-related genes in the last 15 years has propelled the field of cancer genetic risk assessment forward. With patients becoming increasingly aware of available genetic testing options, it is important that various health professionals become knowledgeable in identifying and advising patients at increased risk for a hereditary cancer syndrome. This article will outline the components of providing a hereditary cancer risk assessment with a focus on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome and hereditary colon cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Counseling
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Models, Statistical
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Risk Assessment