For nonadherent patients, individualized testing does not increase colorectal cancer screening rates

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According to a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers have found that patients who know their individual risk for colorectal cancer is not sufficient to convince previously nonadherent patients to be screened for the disease.

For the study, the researchers identified 783 participants at average risk for colorectal cancer who had not been adherent to screening at the time of entering the study. Participants were randomized to receive either usual care or individualized genetic and environmental risk assessment (GERA) of colorectal cancer susceptibility.

GERA evaluates methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms and serum folate levels. Patients that received GERA were informed whether they were at an average or elevated risk for developing colorectal cancer.

The researchers found no statistically significant difference in overall screening rates between the two groups. In addition, there was no significant different in screening rates between those identified by GERA as having average risk and those having elevated risk. The findings suggest that personalized GERA does not increase the number of nonadherent patients who receive screenings.

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Patients who know individual risk are not sufficient to convince previously nonadherent patients.

Knowing their individual risk for disease is not enough to pursuade previously nonadherent patients to undergo recommended colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings, according to a randomized, controlled trial being published in Annals of Internal Medicine. CRC is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Increasing screening rates is imperative because screening can reduce disease incidence and mortality.

Researchers hypothesized that providing average-risk patients with a personalized genetic and environmental risk assessment (GERA) would increase CRC screening uptake compared with usual care. About 780 participants at average risk for CRC who were not adherent to screening at the time of the study were randomly assigned to usual care or GERA.

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