Integrating surgery and genetic testing for the modern surgeon

Raul Caso, Matthew Beamer, Alexander D. Lofthus, Michael Sosin

Abstract

The field of cancer genetics is rapidly evolving and several genetic mutations have been identified in hereditary cancer syndromes. These mutations can be diagnosed via routine genetic testing allowing prompt intervention. This is especially true for certain variants of colorectal, breast, and thyroid cancers where genetic testing may guide surgical therapy. Ultimately, surgical intervention may drastically diminish disease manifestation or progression in individuals deemed as high-risk based on their genetic makeup. Understanding the concepts of gene-based testing and integrating into current surgical practice is crucial. This review addresses common genetic syndromes, tests, and interventions salient to the current surgeon.