AMELIA ISLAND, FloridaPeople with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), are willing to consider the pros and cons of prophylactic subtotal colectomy to manage their disorder, but still have strong concerns about the procedure, according to a study presented at the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) Third Annual Conference (abstract P12-3).
Karen Hurley, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, interviewed 11 people with HNPCC about their willingness to undergo prophylactic subtotal colectomy: Fewer than half (45.5%) said they would consider the surgery even in the event of a diagnosis of colorectal cancer. A smaller percentage, 18.2%, said they would consider it even without a cancer diagnosis, and 36% said they would not consider it at all. For most (63.6%), not needing an annual colonoscopy was not considered enough of an incentive to have the surgery. Slightly more than half had never heard about the prophylactic surgery before their interview. They were more likely to know about it if they had already received a cancer diagnosis. "People with HNPCC should be considering the option of prophylactic subtotal colectomy before they get hit with a cancer diagnosis, so they can make informed and reasoned choices," Dr. Hurley said.