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Genetic Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility: A Family Experience

Authors

  • Marcia Van Riper RN, PhD,

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      School of Nursing, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carrington Hall CB #7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. E-mail: vanriper@email.unc.edu
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    • Marcia Van Riper, RN, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a joint appointment in the School of Nursing and the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences.

  • Wendy C. McKinnon MS, CGC

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    • Wendy C. McKinnon, MS, CGC, is a Certified Genetic Counselor in the Familial Cancer Program and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine.


School of Nursing, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carrington Hall CB #7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. E-mail: vanriper@email.unc.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of current knowledge concerning genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility. This overview includes 1) a brief history of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, 2) a review of factors that midwives and other health care providers need to consider before offering this type of testing to their clients, 3) management options for clients at high risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, and 4) a discussion of preliminary findings from an ongoing study concerning the family experience of genetic testing, which illustrates some of the ethical issues that emerge for individuals and families during the family experience of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility.

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