Tumor Screening in Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome: Parental Perspectives

J Genet Couns. 2018 Aug;27(4):844-853. doi: 10.1007/s10897-017-0182-8. Epub 2017 Dec 4.


Children with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) and Isolated Hemihypertrophy (IHH) are at an increased risk for developing tumors. Tumor screening in this population is currently being reassessed by several groups and the effect on patients and patient-families has been argued both as a reason to screen and not to screen. Parental perspectives on this topic have never been systematically addressed for the BWS population. Here, we conducted a parent-based survey to evaluate knowledge and attitudes toward tumor screening in patients affected by BWS/IHH. A total of 261 surveys were completed. Overall, parents reported that screening decreased their worry and did not feel that screening increased worry or created a burden. This effect was observed across various demographic variables and other factors examined. Almost all significant differences observed could be attributed to parental knowledge of tumor risk. Parents who correctly identified their child's tumor risk were more likely to agree with stratified screening recommendations according to BWS type and risk, and were less likely to feel worried if recommendations were changed. These results highlight the need to educate families about their child's genetic type and tumor risk in order to facilitate an informed decision about tumor screening.

Keywords: Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome; Cancer predisposition; Tumor screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome / psychology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Registries