For most individuals, cancer development is multifactorial; however, up to 10% of all cancers are related to an inherited genetic mutation. As health care shifts to having a greater emphasis on prevention, care providers, including general surgeons, will need to play a role in identifying patients at high risk for cancer development. Genetic testing provides a tool to determine those patients with a genetic mutation and to whom appropriate preventive care and treatment may be offered. It is imperative for general surgeons to understand the role genetics plays in the care of individual patients and their relatives.
Keywords: BRCA; Familial adenomatous polyposis; Genetic testing; Hereditary cancer syndromes; Lynch syndrome.
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