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J Community Genet. 2018 Jul;9(3):233-241. doi: 10.1007/s12687-017-0347-z. Epub 2017 Nov 18.

A comparison of cancer risk assessment and testing outcomes in patients from underserved vs. tertiary care settings.

Author information

1
Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Division of Population Sciences, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave DA 1122, Boston, MA, USA. humaq_rana@dfci.harvard.edu.
2
Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. humaq_rana@dfci.harvard.edu.
3
Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Division of Population Sciences, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave DA 1122, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Abstract

In cancer genetics, technological advances (next generation sequencing) and the expansion of genetic test options have resulted in lowered costs and increased access to genetic testing. Despite this, the majority of patients utilizing cancer genetics services lack diversity of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Through retrospective chart review, we compared outcomes of cancer genetics consultations at a tertiary cancer center and a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) (58 tertiary and 23 FQHC patients) from 2013 to 2015. The two groups differed in race, ethnicity, use of translator services, and type of insurance coverage. There were also significant differences in completeness of family history information, with more missing information about relatives in the FQHC group. In spite of these differences, genetic testing rates among those offered testing were comparable across the two groups with 74% of tertiary patients and 60% of FQHC patients completing testing. Implementation of community-based cancer genetics outreach clinics represents an opportunity to improve access to genetic counseling services, but more research is needed to develop effective counseling models for diverse patient populations.

KEYWORDS:

BRCA; Cancer genetics; Disparities; FQHC; Genetic counseling; Interpreter; Underserved

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