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    Genetics of Colorectal Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Psychosocial Issues in Hereditary Colon Cancer Syndromes

    Table 19. Studies Measuring Quality-of-Life Variables in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) continued...

    Various modes of communication (e.g., in-person, telephone, or written contact) may typically be used to disclose genetic risk information within families.[67,68,69] In one study, communication aids such as a genetic counseling summary letter or LS booklet were viewed as helpful adjuncts to the communication process but were not considered central or necessary to its success.[68] Studies have suggested that recommendations by health care providers to inform relatives about hereditary cancer risk may encourage communication about LS [69] and that support by health care professionals may be helpful in overcoming barriers to communicating such information to family members.[72]

    Much of the literature to date on family communication has focused on disclosure of test results; however, other elements of family communication are currently being explored. One study evaluated the role of older family members in providing various types of support (e.g., instrumental, emotional, crisis help, and dependability when needed) among individuals with LS and their family members (206 respondents from 33 families).[7,74] Respondents completed interviews about their family social network (biological and non-biological relatives and others outside the family) and patterns of communication within their family. The average age of the respondents and the members of their family social network did not differ (~ age 43 years). The study found that 23% of the members of the family social network encouraged CRC screening (other types of support, such as social support, were reported much more frequently). Those who encouraged screening were older, female, and significant others or biological family members, rather than nonfamily members. Given that many of the members of the family social network did not live in the same household, the study points out the importance of extended family in the context of screening encouragement and support.

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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

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    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
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