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Perceived cancer risks may not reflect actual risks or prevention needs
Date:5/14/2009

, and genetic services.

Results showed that more than 17 percent of the individuals were at high-risk; 70 percent were at moderate-to-high risk; and 12 percent were at low-risk.

"One of our main findings was that, prior to counseling, individuals in the low-risk group estimated the magnitude of their cancer risk as equal to that of the high-risk group," Hall notes. "Clearly, the first step in offering clinical prevention tools to all of the individuals entering our risk assessment program is to help them to understand their actual level of risk. Only then can we recommend the appropriate prevention support."

In the Fox Chase Gastrointestinal Tumor Risk Assessment Program, low-risk individuals receive risk-factor management counseling and education related to appropriate screening. Those at moderate-to-high or high risk are offered additional prevention tools, such as intensive screening and prophylactic surgery, chemoprevention, and genetic testing.

"Preventing cancer is as important as treating cancer," says Hall, summing up his team's findings. "As information about the genetic causes of many cancers becomes more widely known, motivated people with a varying levels of concern and need come to us for risk assessment. To best serve them, we must be able to gauge their risk accurately in order to maximize the benefits of the prevention tools we offer."


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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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