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J Cancer Epidemiol. 2012;2012:498062. doi: 10.1155/2012/498062. Epub 2012 Jul 15.

Do Breast Cancer Patients Tested in the Oncology Care Setting Share BRCA Mutation Results with Family Members and Health Care Providers?

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Health Outcomes and Behavior Program, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


BRCA genetic test results provide important information to manage cancer risk for patients and their families. Little is known on the communication of genetic test results by mutation status with family members and physicians in the oncology care setting. As part of a longitudinal study evaluating the impact of genetic counseling and testing among recently diagnosed breast cancer patients, we collected patients' self-reported patterns of disclosure. Descriptive statistics characterized the sample and determined the prevalence of disclosure of BRCA test results to family members and physicians. Of 100 patients who completed the baseline and the 6-month followup survey, 77 reported pursuing testing. The majority shared test results with female first-degree relatives; fewer did with males. Participants were more likely to share results with oncologists compared to surgeons, primary care physicians, or other specialty physicians. These findings suggest that while breast cancer patients may communicate results to at-risk female family members and their medical oncologist, they may need education and support to facilitate communication to other first-degree relatives and providers.

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