PURPOSE: Screening of Gardner syndrome (GS) patients is tailored towards prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, many patients suffer from desmoid tumors, which are challenging to treat due to invasive growth and local recurrence. The aims of our study were to determine the effectiveness of screening in GS and analyze outcome of desmoid tumors by treatment modality. METHODS: This was a cohort study of a family of 105 descendants with GS. All family members who agreed were screened by endoscopy, and colorectal resection was performed upon pending malignancy. Resectable desmoids were excised, whereas large tumors were treated by a combination of brachytherapy (BT) and radiotherapy (RT). Main outcome measures were the incidence of CRC and overall and disease-specific mortality (ClinicalTrial.gov ID NCT01286662). RESULTS: Thirty-seven of 105 family members have GS. Preventive colorectal resections were performed in 16 patients (15 %), with one death due to gastric cancer. In four patients who denied screening endoscopy, invasive tumors of the colon (three patients) and stomach developed. Of 33 desmoid tumors, 10 (30 %) were located in the mesentery, 17 (52 %) in the abdominal wall, and 6 (18 %) in extra-abdominal sites. Excision of 12 desmoids was performed in eight patients. Four desmoids were treated by BT and RT and showed full or partial remission. CONCLUSIONS: Provided adequate screening, good long-term control of colorectal tumors is achievable. However, desmoid tumors determine survival and quality of life in many patients. Our data suggest good local control using a combination of brachytherapy/radiotherapy in large desmoids unsuitable for surgical resection.