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The family history score tool identifies high risk families for colorectal cancer


Assessing family history risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) is often difficult due to complex permutations and combinations. A family history score has been developed and validated to simplify familial risk assessment. This study examines the usefulness of this scoring system to identify families at risk through public outreach programs.


A published Family History Scoring System1 was used to determine familial cancer risk at 7 health fair and educational events spanning 2006-2008. Patients with scores ≤7 are considered at moderate risk for advanced adenomas or CRC, scores with >7 signify high risk, and scores >10 are suggestive of a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome. A computer program using touch screen technology was designed to record and calculate family history score and was used at the women's and men's health fairs. No identifying information was collected. Recommendations for surveillance were given depending on the risk level assigned.


1223 people participated. The scores are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1 Table 1


  1. 1.

    Church JM: Family History Scoring System. Dis Col Rectum 2005, 48: 889–96. 10.1007/s10350-004-0880-9

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Correspondence to Janet Shenal.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Shenal, J., McGannon, E., Fay, S. et al. The family history score tool identifies high risk families for colorectal cancer. Hered Cancer Clin Pract 8, P21 (2010).

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  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Adenoma
  • Advanced Adenoma
  • High Risk Family
  • Public Outreach