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Moms often talk to children about the results of cancer genetic testing
Date:7/2/2013

they felt the benefits of sharing the information outweighed its risks. "Younger children are more concrete thinkers. The concept of a gene that causes cancer might be too abstract for some to understand and appreciate, but not others," Tercyak explains. "We encourage parents to ask themselves 'Is my child ready to learn this?'"

Tercyak and his team also studied if women were satisfied with their choice about informing their children. Those who didn't disclose their results were less satisfied with their decision, as were those who felt more conflicted over how to act.

"When parents feel conflicted, overwhelmed or uncertain, it can compromise their judgment, making them second guess and regret their choices," Tercyak says.

"These can be hard choices about sensitive issues, especially for healthy mothers with younger children who opt to have surgery," he says, referring to BRCA-positive women who opt for prophylactic mastectomies or oophorectomies. "We associate surgery and doctors appointments with being sick. It can be difficult to explain why a surgery is needed to prevent an illness."

Tercyak and his team at Georgetown Lombardi have developed a communication tool to help parents talk with their children about hereditary cancer risk and prevention. "We're evaluating what works best for parents to help them make and act on decisions that are right for them and their families."


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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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