Introduction: Identification of patients at risk of hereditary cancer is an essential component of oncology practice, since it enables clinicians to offer early detection and prevention programs. However, the large number of hereditary syndromes makes it difficult to take them all into account in daily practice. Consequently, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has suggested a series of criteria to guide initial suspicion. Objective: It was the aim of this study to assess the perception of the risk of hereditary cancer according to the NCI criteria in our medical oncology service. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the recordings of the family history in new cancer patients seen in our medical oncology service from January to November 2009, only 1 year before the implementation of our multidisciplinary hereditary cancer program. Results: The family history was recorded in only 175/621 (28%) patients. A total of 119 (19%) patients met 1 or more NCI criteria (1 criterion, n = 91; 2 criteria, n = 23; 3 criteria, n = 4; and 4 criteria, n = 1), and only 14 (11.4%) patients were referred to genetic counseling. Conclusion: This study shows that few clinicians record the family history. The perception of the risk of hereditary cancer is low according to the NCI criteria in our medical oncology service. These findings can be explained by the lack of a multidisciplinary hereditary cancer program when the study was performed

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