Objectives: Lynch syndrome (LS) is a hereditary cancer syndrome that conveys a high risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Guidelines recommend colonoscopy every 1 to 2 years. There is limited information about screening compliance in this high-risk group.
Methods: Data about cancer screening behaviors were obtained from subjects recruited through four US cancer genetics clinics. The main outcome was prevalence of appropriate CRC surveillance for LS.
Results: A total of 181 individuals had a family history that met the Amsterdam criteria for LS (n=154) and/or had an identified mutation in a mismatch repair (MMR) gene (n=105). Of these 181 individuals, 131 (73%) had appropriate LS surveillance with colonoscopies at least every 2 years for their age >25 years. Of those with inadequate surveillance, 26/49 (53%) had colonoscopies at 3- to 5-year intervals. There were no significant differences in health-care setting, perceived risk of CRC, or compliance with screening for other cancers. Rates of appropriate surveillance were higher among individuals who had been referred for genetic evaluation for LS compared with those who had not (109/136 (80%) vs. 23/45 (51%), respectively, P=0.0004). In multivariate analysis, personal history of CRC (odds ratio (OR) 2.81), having a first-degree relative with CRC at age <50 years (OR 2.61), and having undergone a genetic evaluation (OR 4.62) were associated with appropriate CRC surveillance for LS.
Conclusions: The time between colonoscopic exams in patients with LS is often longer than recommended by current guidelines and may place them at risk for interval cancers. Recognizing clinical features of LS and providing genetic counseling, evaluation, and intensive surveillance may improve cancer prevention for those at the highest risk for CRC.