Genetic Counseling, Cancer Screening, Breast Cancer Characteristics, and General Health among a Diverse Population of BRCA Genetic Testers
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 24, Number 3, August 2013
- pp. 1150-1166
- Additional Information
Outcomes after genetic testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Syndrome have not been well studied in underserved populations. We surveyed 1,123 BRCA testers from a genetic counseling program serving an academic cancer center (n=1,045) and a public county hospital (n=78) a median of 3.7 years after testing for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer susceptibility genes). We compared genetic counseling outcomes, cancer screening rates, and self-reported general health. We found no differences in genetic counseling outcomes between hospitals. Breast cancer screening rates were similarly high at both hospitals, which are warranted in this high-risk population. Screening rates for ovarian, colon, and skin cancer were significantly lower in participants from the public hospital. BRCA results were not a predictor of general health at either hospital. When creating a genetic counseling program that serves women in different hospital settings, providers should emphasize guidelines-based screening recommendations for all patients.