A cross-sectional survey to estimate the prevalence of family history of colorectal, breast and ovarian cancer in a Scottish general practice population

E. Wallace, A. Hinds, H. Campbell, J. Mackay, R. Cetnarskyj, M. E. M. Porteous

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

A cross-sectional survey of all patients aged 30-65 in four general practices within one Local Health Care Co-operative in Fife, Scotland was undertaken to measure the prevalence of family history of colorectal, breast and ovarian cancer. A total of 7619 patients aged 30-65 responded to a postal questionnaire (response rate 59%). In all, 17% of respondents (1324, 95% CI 16-18%) reported a relative affected by colorectal, breast or ovarian cancer. Of those, 6% (78, 95% CI 5-7%) met the Scottish guidelines for referral for genetics counselling. In all, 2% (24, 95% CI 1-3%) of all individuals with an affected relative had received genetic counselling and risk assessment. Of these, 25% (6, 95% CI 8-42%) met the moderate- or high-risk criteria for developing a cancer. In conclusion, the number of patients who are at a significantly increased risk of cancer on the basis of a family history is small (approximately 10 per General Practitioner (GP) list). It is therefore unrealistic to expect GPs to develop expertise in genetic risk estimation. A simple family history chart or pedigree is one way that a GP can, within the constraints of a GP consultation, determine which patients should be reassured and which referred to the local cancer genetic clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1575-1579
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume91
Issue number8
Early online date21 Sep 2004
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2004

Keywords

  • Cross-sectional
  • Family cancer history
  • Genetic risk
  • Prevalence

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