Genetics: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome: Genetic Testing and Counseling

The goal of this module is to improve recognition of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes so that appropriate patient management strategies can be implemented.

: 1 hr

After completing this activity participants will be able to:

  • Recognize individuals at increased risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome

  • Describe healthcare options for individuals at increased risk for a BRCA mutation

  • Locate cancer and BRCA mutation risk assessment tools

  • Explain the process of genetic counseling for hereditary cancer risk

  • Discuss benefits and limitations of BRCA testing

  • Interpret BRCA genetic test results

  • Locate genetics and cancer resources for medical staff and patients

Professional Practice GapsIn an effort to define what healthcare providers need to know about medical genetics, several organizations developed core competencies (NCHPEG, 2000; ASHG, 2001). However, because clinical genetics is a relatively young and evolving field of medicine, many practitioners received insufficient formal genetics education. As a result, they express a lack of confidence in their clinical genetics knowledge and a lack of confidence in their ability to provide genetic counseling. References
Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics, American Society of Human Genetics. Medical school core curriculum in genetics. ASHG Website. December 2001. Available at: Accessed on: 2004-06-15.
Core competencies in genetics essential for all health-care professionals. National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics. 2000. Available at: Accessed on: 2004-09-21.