Genetic Testing

Genetic testing may benefit patients and families affected by an inherited colon cancer syndrome. The genetic mutations in FAP and HNPCC can often be characterized. If a family member with colon cancer has an identified genetic abnormality, other family members can be tested to see if they have the same abnormality.

If the mutated gene is not found, the abnormal gene was not inherited and the family member is not at increased risk of developing cancer. Because screening (i.e., colon examination) is more frequently performed for those with FAP and HNPCC than others, genetic testing can be useful for determining who would benefit from intense surveillance.

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