A Genomic Test for Colorectal Cancer Risk: Is This Acceptable and Feasible in Primary Care?

Risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) is affected by many factors, including family history of disease, environmental exposures and genetic factors. New Australian guidelines recommend a risk-stratified approach to determine starting age and CRC screening test – immunochemical faecal occult blood testing (iFOBT) or colonoscopy. This study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of administering a CRC genomic test in primary care. 150 participants aged 45-74 years recruited from 4 Australian general practices were offered a genomic CRC risk test. The results showed that test uptake was high (84%), with 83% having good knowledge of the genomic test. Furthermore, in average risk participants’ cancer-specific anxiety decreased. Though not statistically significant, 56% of testers, compared to 17% of non-testers, either did, or were actively recommended the appropriate CRC screening test. Overall, genomic testing for CRC risk in primary care was found to be acceptable and likely feasible. This study presents important evidence on how to implement such tests in primary care and could advance the genomics future of disease prevention in general practice.

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