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Clinically relevant family histories of cancer change over time.

A multi-institutional study looked at how often and at what age a patient's family history of cancer should be updated to ensure that the patient is appropriately screened and has the best chance of early detection.

Using the Cancer Genetics Network (CGN), researchers reviewed data on family history of cancer of more than 10,000 patients who were followed for almost 10 years. Focusing on cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate, the team looked at how clinically relevant changes in family cancer history changed over each individual's lifetime. Only first- and second-degree histories (parents, siblings, grandparents, and aunts and uncles) were noted in the analysis.

Adults with a personal and/or family history of cancer enrolled in the CGN participated in the study. Retrospective screening-specific analysis included 9,861, 2,547, and 1,817 participants for colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer, respectively. Median follow up was eight years. The primary outcomes measured included percentage of individuals with clinically significant family histories and rate of change over two periods: from birth until CGN enrollment and from enrollment to last follow-up. The researchers found that the percentage of participants who fit the requirements for high-risk screening based on family history at ages 30 and 50 years, respectively, were 2.1% and 7.1% for colorectal cancer, 7.2% and 11.4% for breast cancer, and 0.9% and 2% for prostate cancer.

The researchers concluded that clinically relevant family history changes substantially during early and middle adulthood, particularly with regard to colorectal and breast cancer, for which the percentage recommended for high-risk screening increases 1.5- to 3-fold from age 30-50.

Contributor Deborah McBride, RN, MSN, CPON[R], is a staff nurse III at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center and an assistant professor at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA.

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Ziogas, A., Horick, N.K., Kinney, A.Y., Lowery, J.T., Domchek, S.M., Isaacs, C., ... Plon, S.E. (2011). Clinically relevant changes in family history of cancer over time. JAMA, 306, 172-178. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.955
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Title Annotation:just in
Author:McBride, Deborah
Publication:ONS Connect
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2011
Words:341
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