Family history updates urged in cancer screening

A PATIENT’S family history of cancer should be updated at least every 5–10 years to identify appropriate screening needs, experts suggest.

Researchers looked at family history data from a US registry of almost 27,000 people with a personal or family history of cancer, including breast, prostate and colorectal cancer, and melanoma.

They examined changes in family history that would render patients candidates for earlier or more intense screening, finding clinically relevant changes in early and middle adulthood, particularly for colorectal and breast cancer.

“[The] percentage recommended for high-risk screening increased 1.5 to threefold between ages 30 and 50 years,” they found. 

Researchers also found a 5% chance bowel cancer screening advice would change in the age range. 

“We therefore recommend that family history should be updated at least every 5–10 years to appropriately