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Keywords:

  • health-care team;
  • hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome;
  • personal genetic information;
  • personalized medicine;
  • risk management

Personalized medicine, the tailoring of prevention and treatment, is the future of routine clinical practice. This approach has started to appear in genetic testing for predisposition to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). We explored how breast-care providers perceived HBOC risk management, using grounded theory. This study found that the frontline healthcare providers perceived HBOC risk management as still being neglected in breast cancer care. Emerging challenges included treatment priority, hesitancy to deal with sensitive issues, easily missed risks, genetic data not being shared among multidisciplinary professionals, and patients being lost to follow-up. Oncology nurses are ideally placed to facilitate communication and utilization of genetic information among multidisciplinary professionals. Specialized outpatient clinics need to be established to follow up individuals at high risk. There is a need to create a system to meet the future demands of personalized medicine in nursing practice.