2019 Volume 19 Issue 2 Pages 66-71
This study investigated interest and knowledge of genetic counseling and testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome among breast cancer patients in our hospital which is one of the community hospitals without established department of medical genetics. We performed questionnaire surveys and direct interviews by a clinical nurse specialist in cancer care. The surveys and interviews were administered to 22 breast cancer patients who visited the hospital between March 1 and May 31, 2017 and met the criteria for further genetic risk evaluation in NCCN guidelines (version 2.2016). Although 21(95%) and 18(82%) patients knew the words of “hereditary breast cancer” and “genetic test” respectively, only 7(32%) knew “genetic counseling”. Both the questionnaire and direct interview revealed that patients who had strong interest in hereditary breast cancer did not always wish to receive genetic testing. Nineteen(86%) patients answered that a high cost could be a reason to hesitate to undergo genetic testing in the questionnaire surveys, as confirmed by the direct interviews. In conclusion, even community hospitals urgently need to establish a system for patients’ accessing to the correct information on hereditary cancer and genetic counseling.