Genetics: Etiology of Sporadic and Hereditary Cancers

The goal of this module is to improve recognition of familial cancer syndromes so that appropriate patient management strategies can be implemented.

: 1 hr

After completing this activity participants will be able to:

  • Define oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and DNA repair genes

  • Explain how oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and DNA repair genes contribute to cancer development

  • Differentiate between sporadic and hereditary cancers

  • Identify patients at risk for hereditary cancer syndrome

  • Obtain a cancer family history

  • Locate patient management recommendations, educational materials, and support resources

Professional Practice GapsIn an effort to define what healthcare providers need to know about medical genetics, several organizations developed core competencies (NCHPEG, 2000; ASHG, 2001). However, because clinical genetics is a relatively young and evolving field of medicine, many practitioners received insufficient formal genetics education. As a result, they express a lack of confidence in their clinical genetics knowledge and a lack of confidence in their ability to provide genetic counseling. References
Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics, American Society of Human Genetics. Medical school core curriculum in genetics. ASHG Website. December 2001. Available at: Accessed on: 2004-06-15.
Core competencies in genetics essential for all health-care professionals. National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics. 2000. Available at: Accessed on: 2004-09-21.