Research Output

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

  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% Cl 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.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    18 October 2004

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Cancer Research UK

  • DOI:

    10.1038/sj.bjc.6602155

  • ISSN:

    0007-0920

Citation

Wallace, E., Hinds, A., Campbell, H., Mackay, J., Cetnarskyj, R. & Porteous, M. E. (2004). A cross-sectional survey to estimate the prevalence of family history of colorectal, breast and ovarian cancer in a Scottish general practice population. British Journal of Cancer. 91, 1575-1579. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602155. ISSN 0007-0920

Authors

Keywords

Cross-sectional; Family cancer history; Genetic risk; Prevalence; GP consultation

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