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Harefuah. 2014 Jan;153(1):22-6, 65.

[Psychological and familial aspects of the familial breast and ovarian cancer genetic counseling process].

[Article in Hebrew]

Author information

  • 1The Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology and the CHS National Cancer Control Center, Carmel Medical Center. cmdanath@clalit.org.il
  • 2The Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology and the CHS National Cancer Control Center, Carmel Medical Center.
  • 3The School of Public Health, Haifa University.

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignancy among women, whilst ovarian cancer is less common but carries a graver prognosis. Carriers of the BRCA mutations have a few-fold higher risk for those diseases. Genetic counseling for the families at risk has been available for almost two decades, since the definition of the mutation. The existence of the deleterious mutation has implications beyond the individual level and touches the lives and future of many other family members. Being part of a BRCA family has medical as well as psychosocial implications. Various barriers and facilitators must be dealt with during the process of sharing the information with kins. Most families cope well with those issues, while some require the guidance of professionals. Special subpopulations, i.e. non-carrier women in BRCA families, young carriers and men who are under minimal personal threat but might transfer the mutation to their off springs, have special needs which should be addressed. The desired outcome of the counseling process is achievement of normal adaptation which balances life in the shadow of uncertainty and threat with the ability to lead a normal life. The process of counseling is multidisciplinary, and along with the advances in scientific and medical aspects, the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) have also been developed. The professional personnel escorting those families need to develop and maintain specific skills.

PMID:
24605403
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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