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August 11, 1978

Minimal Genetic Findings and Their Cancer Control Implications: A Family With the Cancer Family Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha.

JAMA. 1978;240(6):535-538. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290060037009

A kindred in which five first-degree relatives were initially known to exhibit colorectal, endometrial, and unspecified carcinoma for two generations, occurring at an early age and including three cases of multiple primary cancer, is consistent with criteria for the cancer family syndrome. Follow-up included a diligent surveillance program that led to the early diagnosis of colon cancer in a young member of the third generation who had been considered at high risk for this lesion. Manifestly, hereditary cancer syndrome identification may be expedited through longitudinal study of apparently cancer-prone kindreds, given limited historical information about tumor expression. However, cancer surveillance measures can and should be instituted early and predicated on clues that suggest, but need not be diagnostic of, such a hereditary cancer predisposing disorder.

(JAMA 240:535-538, 1978)