Clinical Utility refers to the likelihood that genetic information will lead to an improved health outcome. Evaluating clinical utility involves defining issues that need to be considered with the introduction of genetic information into routine practice. Some issues to be considered when evaluating clinical utility for genetic information are: The effectiveness of available interventions for individuals at increased risk for a genetic condition. The social consequences of genetic information. The economic implications of genetic testing and follow-up

We will now take a look at genetic information associated with colorectal cancer and evaluate this for clinical utility:

Individuals at-risk for colorectal cancer fall into three categories:

Population Risk: This includes individuals who have no personal or family history of colorectal cancer. The majority of individuals fall into this category.

Increased risk: This is based on family history. A smaller proportion of patients fall into this category.

High risk: This is based on a known familial mutation. Individuals with HNPCC and FAP are considered part of this group. Very few patients fall into this category.

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