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01.12.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2014

Familial Cancer 4/2014

A primary care audit of familial risk in patients with a personal history of breast cancer

Zeitschrift:
Familial Cancer > Ausgabe 4/2014
Autoren:
Paul Nathan, Aneeta Ahluwalia, Wendy Chorley

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, both in the UK and worldwide. A small proportion of women are at very high risk of breast cancer, having a particularly strong family history. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has advised that practitioners should not, in most instances, actively seek to identify women with a family history of breast cancer. An audit was undertaken at an urban primary care practice of 15,000 patients, using a paper-based, self-administered questionnaire sent to patients identified with a personal history of breast cancer. The aim of this audit was to determine whether using targeted screening of relatives of patients with breast cancer to identify familial cancer risk is worthwhile in primary care. Since these patients might already expected to have been risk assessed following their initial diagnosis, this audit acts as a quality improvement exercise. The audit used a validated family history questionnaire and risk assessment tool as a screening approach for identifying and grading familial risk in line with the NICE guidelines, to guide referral to the familial cancer screening service. The response rate to family history questionnaires was 54 % and the majority of patients responded positively to their practitioner seeking to identify familial cancer risks in their family. Of the 57 returned questionnaires, over a half (54 %) contained pedigrees with individuals eligible for referral. Patients and their relatives who are often registered with the practice welcome the discussion. An appropriate referral can therefore be made. The findings suggest a role for primary care practitioners in the identification of those at higher familial risk. However integrated systems and processes need designing to facilitate this work.

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