Genetic Testing Rates Found to be Low in Women With A History of Breast or Ovarian Cancer

(August 22, 2017) The Journal of Clinical Oncology recently published a study about the unmet need of genetic testing in women with breast and ovarian cancer. Women who fit eligibility criteria from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) took surveys focusing on discussions about genetic testing with a health professional, being advised to have genetic testing done, and actually having genetic testing done. 0.4% of the over 47,000 women surveyed had a history of ovarian cancer. In that subgroup, 15.1% had discussed it with a professional, 13.1% were advised to have genetic testing done, and 10.5% were actually tested. The study concluded that fewer than one in five women with a history of breast or ovarian cancer, included in the NCCN criteria, have had genetic testing. The study’s authors estimate that 1.2 to 1.3 million women do not receive genetic testing and advocate for a national action to fulfill this need.

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