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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

versión impresa ISSN 1130-0108


FERNANDEZ-SUAREZ, A. et al. Clinical and ethical implications of genetic counselling in familial adenomatous polyposis. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2005, vol.97, n.9, pp.654-665. ISSN 1130-0108.

The association of specific genetic disturbances with the development of hereditary cancer helps us to understand the risk of suffering from it, the possibility of an earlier diagnosis, and the treatment and prevention of this disease. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a pre-neoplastic syndrome characterized by the presence of hundreds of adenomatous polyps in the colon, which develop into a carcinoma. FAP can be diagnosed using sequencing techniques to detect mutations in the germinal line of the APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) gene. The genetic diagnostic approach in families with FAP, previously followed up in the Gastrointestinal Clinic, has both advantages and disadvantages, and places us nearer the disease and patient. Disclosing the results of this genetic test entails relevant problems in clinical practice, which affect the health field and raise legal and ethical issues, along with the familial, occupational, and social implications that knowing the genetic status can have on the patient. Genetic analysis is rare in normal clinical practice, which involves errors in the interpretation of the results obtained, and during the process of genetic counselling. Specialized multidisciplinary units are necessary for the management of patients with FAP undergoing analysis and appropriate genetic counselling, thus providing an individualized service. The creation of FAP registers and protocols for this healthcare process should optimize the management of these patients and their families.

Palabras clave : Familial adenomatous polyposis; APC gene; Molecular diagnostic techniques; Genetic counselling.

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