The purpose of this study is to assess whether patients with colorectal cancer understand
that their first-degree relatives are at increased risk of getting the cancer themselves and
therefore should be screened early. Among patients who do understand the risks to their
family, we plan to determine who they identify as the source of their information and
whether they have acted upon this information and advised family members to be screened. We
hypothesize that many patients with colorectal cancer do not have a correct understanding of
the risks to their first-degree relatives and the recommendations that they be screened
If this hypothesis is shown to be true, it can be used to direct improved and more diligent
patient education. This, in turn, will hopefully increase the low screening rates among
first-degree relatives, and, thereby, save lives in this high-risk population.
1. The primary physician of patients with colorectal cancer will be contacted and asked
permission to contact their patient to discuss his or her understanding of familial
risk before patient is contacted.
2. A letter will be sent to all patients prior to being contacted, notifying them that all
identifying information will be kept confidential and they may decline to participate
at any time.
3. Patients will be called and asked a series of questions about their understanding of
familial risk of colon cancer, the need for early screening and where they learned what
they know. If the patient has lacking knowledge they will be educated.
4. Each patient will be sent informational brochures about colon cancer after the phone
5. Six months later, the patients will be contacted again and asked a series of questions
about their understanding of familial risk of colon cancer and the need for early
screening to access how much impact the informational brochures had on their knowledge
of cancer risk. Patients will be asked one additional demographic question about the
highest level of education that they have completed.
Patients who were diagnosed with CRC and received first treatment here or elsewhere and
patients who were diagnosed elsewhere and received their first treatment here. All are
currently followed here and still alive.
Patients in the registry who are not followed here, patients with Familial Adenomatous
Polyposis, patients with Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer, and patients with no
siblings or children.