Lynch Syndrome

Project Name:

Health Self Efficacy, Health Anxiety, and Gynaecological Cancer Risk in Women with Lynch Syndrome

About the Project:

Lynch syndrome is a genetic cancer susceptibility syndrome. The most common cancer associated with Lynch syndrome is colorectal cancer, but for women, gynaecological malignancies such as endometrial and ovarian cancer are also highly common. Despite considerable research on screening and attitudes toward colorectal cancer screening in those with Lynch syndrome, very little data exist on gynaecological cancer risk management, and attitudes about cancer. Moreover, although Lynch syndrome has been associated with cancer-related distress, no research has examined the construct of health anxiety in this population. Prior research shows that health anxiety is common in medical populations, such as those with chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. To date, it is unclear the extent to which the perception of cancer risk is related to distress, to health-related anxiety, or to health self-efficacy among women who have Lynch Syndrome.

Purpose of the Study:

By conducting this research, we plan to increase our understanding of the psychological factors that influence women’s attitudes around gynaecological cancer screening among those with Lynch syndrome. In addition, we will learn about which factors are most associated with health anxiety in this population. If we find modifiable predictors of these attitudes, we hope to be able to provide psychological, behavioral, or educational interventions for those at risk of not obtaining the needed screening or those who have high health anxiety.