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Hereditary Colon Cancer

Published Online: June 15th 2012 European Gastroenterology & Hepatology Review, 2011;7(4):251–6
Authors: Robin B Mendelsohn, Arnold J Markowitz
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Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains one of the most common cancers in the world, and approximately 5–10 % of cases can be attributed to hereditary syndromes, including familial adenomatous polyposis, Lynch syndrome, MYH-associated polyposis, the hamartomatous syndromes, and their variants. Extensive research has identified the genes associated with many of these syndromes. Screening and management of patients with these conditions differs from that of the general population, and genetic testing and counselling has become crucial in this process. In this review, we discuss the different hereditary polyposis syndromes and their genetics, and emphasise approaches to the screening and surveillance of patients in the hope of preventing the morbidity and mortality currently associated with CRC.

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