A familial gastrointestinal cancer clinic: Organization, aims and activities, 2004-2007

Paul Rozen*, Zohar Levi, Rachel Hazazi, Inbal Barnes-Kedar, Ziona Samuel, Alex Vilkin, Yaron Niv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Dedicated, organ-specific screening clinics have been shown to significantly reduce cancer morbidity and mortality. Objectives: To establish a dedicated clinic for Clalit Health Service patients at high risk for hereditary gastrointestinal cancer and to provide them with clinical and genetic counseling, diagnostic screening and follow-up. Results: During the 3 years of the clinic's activity, 634 high risk families, including 3804 at-risk relatives, were evaluated. The most common conditions were hereditary colorectal syndromes, Lynch syndrome (n=259), undefined young-onset or familial colorectal cancer (n=214), familial adenomatous polyposis (n=55), and others (n=106). They entered follow-up protocols and 52 underwent surgical procedures. Conclusions: Consistent public and professional education is needed to increase awareness of hereditary colorectal cancer and the possibility of family screening, early diagnosis and therapy. The public health services - i.e., the four health management organizations - should provide genetic testing for these patients who, at present, are required to pay for almost all of these available but costly tests. Dedicated colorectal surgical units are needed to provide the specialized therapeutic procedures needed by patients with familial colorectal cancer. Our future plans include adding psychosocial support for these at-risk patients and their families as well as preventive lifestyle and dietary intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-698
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Counseling
  • Familial cancer
  • Genetics
  • Screening


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