A troubling new study published last week in the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that patients at an increased risk for Lynch Syndrome may not be getting adequate advice regarding their genetic testing and colon cancer screening needs.
Lynch Syndrome is an inherited disorder that puts a person at higher risk for developing colorectal and several other types of cancer. Because of this link, it is imperative that Lynch Syndrome patients are aware of their family history and stay up to date with routine colon cancer screenings.
Researchers collected data to measure patient knowledge of genetic testing and colon cancer screening recommendations for people at risk for Lynch Syndrome. The results were startling.
The study showed that of the 165 patients at-risk surveyed, 98% considered family history and genetics important factors in predicting risk for colon cancer. 63% reported that they had heard of genetic testing, 31% reported that their doctor recommended genetic counseling and 7% had actually sought out such counseling.
Only 30% of participants reported that their endoscopists recommended colon cancer screening at 1-2 year intervals, and only 26% knew they should be screened at these intervals.
The study authors concluded that given the relatively low percentage of respondents who were aware of their critical need for genetic testing and colon cancer screening, these patients are not receiving adequate physician guidance.
For more information on Lynch Syndrome, meet our former Hero of the Month, Lynch Syndrome advocate Georgia Hurst.
Image Source: Wesley Wilson via Pexels