CME – Genetic Risk in Breast Cancer: Addressing Concerns

CME – Genetic Risk in Breast Cancer: Addressing Concerns

Among women with breast cancer, an initial diagnosis can lead to a series of complicated decisions about what options should be considered for treating the disease. Further complicating the decision-making process is that approximately 5% to 10% of patients with breast cancer have genetic mutations that predispose them to developing additional cancers. The discovery of genetic mutations can have important implications for treatment decisions after a new breast cancer diagnosis is made. Genetic test results may lead patients to choose more aggressive treatments or preventive measures. Previous studies have explored potential barriers to genetic testing among breast cancer patients, including affordability and insurance concerns. This research has suggested that there are some misconceptions about genetic testing, which may have an effect on its use. Some patients may wish to gain more information about their genetic risks so that they can learn about interventions to help reduce future risk. “In recent years, there has been increased awareness of genetic risks for women with breast cancer,” explains Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil. She notes that several recent judicial opinions, consumer marketing efforts, and celebrity reports about breast cancer have made the general public more aware that genetic testing is available.   Evaluating Preferences & Experiences A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Dr. Jagsi and colleagues was conducted to address gaps in knowledge regarding the desire for and receipt of genetic testing in patients with breast cancer. Particular attention was paid to racial and ethnic minorities and those who were not deemed to be at high risk. The authors also examined if participants had unmet needs for discussing genetic...
Genetic Risk in Breast Cancer: Addressing Concerns

Genetic Risk in Breast Cancer: Addressing Concerns

Among women with breast cancer, an initial diagnosis can lead to a series of complicated decisions about what options should be considered for treating the disease. Further complicating the decision-making process is that approximately 5% to 10% of patients with breast cancer have genetic mutations that predispose them to developing additional cancers. The discovery of genetic mutations can have important implications for treatment decisions after a new breast cancer diagnosis is made. Genetic test results may lead patients to choose more aggressive treatments or preventive measures. Previous studies have explored potential barriers to genetic testing among breast cancer patients, including affordability and insurance concerns. This research has suggested that there are some misconceptions about genetic testing, which may have an effect on its use. Some patients may wish to gain more information about their genetic risks so that they can learn about interventions to help reduce future risk. “In recent years, there has been increased awareness of genetic risks for women with breast cancer,” explains Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil. She notes that several recent judicial opinions, consumer marketing efforts, and celebrity reports about breast cancer have made the general public more aware that genetic testing is available.   Evaluating Preferences & Experiences A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Dr. Jagsi and colleagues was conducted to address gaps in knowledge regarding the desire for and receipt of genetic testing in patients with breast cancer. Particular attention was paid to racial and ethnic minorities and those who were not deemed to be at high risk. The authors also examined if participants had unmet needs for discussing genetic...