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Advanced-stage ovarian cancer patients with BRCA live longer, may respond better to treatment
Date:3/10/2008

an option. Of the 225 ovarian cancer patients surveyed, 56 percent had not heard of BRCA testing. This lack of awareness was more profound in minorities - 69 percent of Hispanic and 88 percent of African American respondents were unaware of BRCA testing compared to 52 percent of white women.

"Patients typically associate genetic testing with benefiting family members and offspring," Lu said. "Both of these studies illustrate that it is equally important for the cancer patient to get information from their doctors about genetic testing because it not only has implications for their family, but their own treatment and prognosis."

She said that more than 85 percent of ovarian cancer patients surveyed would be willing to undergo BRCA testing if it would affect their care, but the cost of testing may be a barrier. "Currently, oncologists are inconsistent in their testing for BRCA mutations. Based on the treatment implications of our findings and the surprisingly low knowledge that such testing is available, we recommend developing ways to systematically evaluate every ovarian cancer patient for BRCA," Lu said.

A family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer is reported in approximately five percent to 15 percent of ovarian cancer cases, with BRCA1/2 mutations expressed in a significant proportion of these cases.


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Contact: Robyn Stein
robyn.stein@gabbe.com
212-220-4444
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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