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Cancer. 2002 Mar 15;94(6):1708-12.

The outcome of endometrial carcinoma surveillance by ultrasound scan in women at risk of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma and familial colorectal carcinoma.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund Family Cancer Clinic, St Mark's Hospital, London, UK.



Endometrial carcinoma is the most common extracolonic malignancy associated with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma syndrome (HNPCC). The risk of endometrial carcinoma in HNPCC mutation carriers is approximately ten times that of the general population, and endometrial ultrasound surveillance to detect early cancer in asymptomatic individuals is recommended by the International Collaborative Group on HNPCC. There is little, if any, published data addressing the effectiveness of surveillance in HNPCC and familial colorectal carcinoma.


The outcomes of endometrial carcinoma surveillance scans were collected from the St Mark's Hospital Imperial Cancer Research Fund Family Cancer Clinic in the UK and the Netherlands Foundation for the Detection of Hereditary Tumors. Two hundred ninety two women from HNPCC (171) or HNPCC-like (98) families between the ages of 25-65 years were offered pelvic ultrasound surveillance scans for a period of up to 13 years.


Results were available from 269 women. The study period included a total of 825.7 years of risk. Two cases of endometrial carcinoma were reported. Neither case was detected by surveillance scanning. Both cases presented at an early stage with symptoms and were subsequently cured.


Endometrial carcinoma surveillance in hereditary colorectal carcinoma may not offer obvious clinical benefits.

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