Recording of family history is associated with colorectal cancer stage

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Abstract

Background

Colorectal cancer (CRC) associated with Lynch syndrome usually presents at a relatively young age. The Revised Bethesda Guidelines advise screening for Lynch syndrome in patients diagnosed with CRC and a positive family history (FH) of CRC and other Lynch-related cancers.

Objective

To evaluate recording of the FH and identify factors associated with recording in young patients with CRC.

Patients and methods

In one academic and two nonacademic hospitals, of all patients diagnosed with CRC at the age of 60 years or younger between 1999 and 2007, electronic medical records were evaluated for a recorded FH of CRC and other Lynch-related cancers. Patient and tumor characteristics were retrieved from the Dutch Comprehensive Cancer Centre and the Dutch Pathological Archive.

Results

A total of 676 patients were identified. FH was recorded in 395/676 (58%) patients. From 1999 to 2007, recording improved with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.10 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.17] per year. Stage III CRC (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.07–2.75) and administration of chemotherapy (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.17–2.89) were associated with recording in multivariate analysis. Other factors, including age at diagnosis, sex, surgery, radiotherapy, proximal tumor localization, poor differentiation, and mucinous histology, were not associated with recording.

Conclusion

A FH of CRC and other Lynch-related cancers was not recorded in ∼40% of young CRC patients and recording improved only slightly over the years. As a first step in the identification of Lynch-related cancer families, physicians should be trained to record a detailed FH in the work-up of all newly diagnosed CRC patients.

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