It is important to adequately and timely identify individuals with cancer worries amongst participants in a pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) surveillance program, because they could benefit from psychosocial support to decrease distress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess both psychosocial and clinical factors associated with cancer worries. High-risk individuals participating in PDAC-surveillance were invited to annually complete a cancer worry scale (CWS) questionnaire which was sent after counseling by the clinical geneticist (T0), after intake for participation in PDAC-surveillance (T1), and then annually after every MRI and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) (T2 and further). Analyses were performed to identify factors associated with cancer worries in the second year of surveillance (T3). We found a significant intra-individual decrease in cancer worries (β = −0.84, P < 0.001), nevertheless, 33 % of individuals had a CWS-score ≥14 at T3. We found one factor significantly associated with cancer worries at T3: having a family member affected by PDAC <50 years of age (β = 0.22, P = 0.03). The detection of a cystic lesion, a shortened surveillance interval, or undergoing pancreatic surgery did not lead to more cancer worries (P = 0.163, P = 0.33, and P = 0.53, respectively). In conclusion, this study identified ‘a family history of PDAC <50 years of age’ as the only predictor of cancer worries experienced after 2 years of surveillance in individuals at high risk of developing PDAC. This knowledge could help clinicians to timely identify individuals ‘at risk’ for high levels of cancer worries who would likely benefit from psychosocial support.

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Familial Cancer
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Konings, I., Harinck, F., Kuenen, M., Sidharta, G.N. (Grace N.), Kieffer, J. M., Aalfs, C., … On behalf of the Dutch research group on pancreatic cancer surveillance in high-risk individuals, (). (2017). Factors associated with cancer worries in individuals participating in annual pancreatic cancer surveillance. Familial Cancer, 16(1), 143–151. doi:10.1007/s10689-016-9930-4