The benefits achieved through genetic testing for inherited cancer only happen by acting upon the results. This can be through guiding cancer treatment, receiving appropriate cancer risk management strategies, and sharing results with at-risk family members so they too can benefit from this information. We recently reported on results of our study, made possible through ICARE participants, about sharing genetic test results with family members.1,2 Our results showed that many of the challenges experienced with sharing genetic test information are similar across the various inherited cancer genes. Participants thought the information was complex to share and had concerns about family members’ reactions, yet they also felt informational resources would be helpful. Keeping up with appropriate cancer risk management is also important, yet there are many who do not keep up with ongoing strategies to detect cancers early or prevent them.3 This is truly a missed opportunity, as a recent report showed women who are identified with inherited cancer before they have any symptoms have better outcomes.4
We recently opened a study to test strategies to help those with inherited cancers to make sure they have the latest information about how to manage cancer risks and share results with family members. If you are interested in learning more about this study, please go to https://inheritedcancer.net/impact-study/.
1Dean, et al. Patient Educ Couns. 2021 Jan. PMID: 33455826. 2Cragun, et al. J Genet Couns. 2020 Nov. PMID: 33174380. 3Ter-Minassian, et al. JCO Oncol Pract. 2021 Jan. PMID: 33428469. 4Hadar, et al. JAMA Oncol. 2020 Sep. PMID: 32644100.