More early-onset CRC cases could be caught by examining family history

Clinicians can help catch early-onset colorectal cancer by consistently screening and recording a patient's family history and proceeding with preventive screening when appropriate, according to a new set of international cancer registries, Medpage Today reports.

What you should know:

1. About a quarter of CRC cases in the 40- to 49-year-old age group would have qualified for early preventive screening based on family history, according to findings published in Cancer.

2. If clinicians followed the family history-based screening criteria, most of the early-onset cases could've been diagnosed earlier or prevented.

3. About 44 percent of the early-onset CRC cases were diagnosed at the same age as the patient's youngest first-degree relative with CRC. The finding suggests patients didn't make their clinician aware of a family history of CRC until they reached the age of the youngest person in their family who was diagnosed with CRC.

4. Several CRC-related task forces have recommended early screening for patients who have first- or second-degree relatives with CRC.

5. Researchers noted the study could have been limited by spectrum bias, and the number of patients with family members who had CRC in the study may not be reflective of the same number of people in the general population.

The entire piece is available here.

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