Background & aims: The present study quantified the prevalence of families that fulfill the Amsterdam or Bethesda criteria for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) in the whole Swedish population and investigated the extent to which tumors in the classified families are HNPCC-related.
Methods: The families of the Swedish Family-Cancer Database with at least 4 generations (N = 566,877) were classified according to the Amsterdam and the Bethesda criteria. Survival methods were used to assess the risk of cancer in the classified families, the prognosis of cancer patients, and the risk of subsequent malignancies after colorectal adenomas and after colorectal/endometrial adenocarcinomas.
Results: The Bethesda criteria identified 0.9% of all Swedish families and 11.2% of patients with colorectal cancer. Families that fulfilled the Bethesda criteria showed increased risks of cancer in the colorectum, endometrium, small bowel, ovary, stomach, bile ducts, renal pelvis, and ureter; members of Bethesda criteria families were at decreased risks of lung and cervical cancers. The prognosis of cancer in the ureter, renal pelvis, stomach, ovary, and colorectum, but not in the endometrium, was better in Bethesda criteria than in nonclassified families.
Conclusions: Most malignancies in the classified families reflect typical features of HNPCC (association with subsequent malignancies, accelerated adenoma-carcinoma sequence, and better survival). The data presented in this study should help to define surveillance strategies for members of families that fulfill the criteria for HNPCC testing.