Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Genetic Counseling

First Advisor

Crystal R. Hill-chapman


OBJECTIVES: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) is an autosomal dominant cancer predisposition syndrome with a 46-87% lifetime risk of breast cancer. Unaffected women who have HBOC are eligible for more screening procedures and prophylactic surgeries that may reduce the risk of developing cancer by up to 95%. The objectives of this study were to assess women’s awareness of and interest in breast cancer genetic testing services, as well as women’s attitudes and beliefs regarding the clinical utilization of HBOC genetic testing across demographic categories. METHODS: Two-hundred and sixty-eight women completed a 35-item survey designed to capture perceptions of HBOC and genetic testing, attitudes towards genetic testing for HBOC, and demographics. RESULTS: Two-hundred and eight women met participation criteria. One-hundred and fifty-five (75%) indicated prior awareness of genetic testing services. One-hundred and forty-three (69%) indicated interest in genetic testing for HBOC. Black women, women with lower levels of education, and women with lower household incomes reported less awareness, but similar levels of interest in genetic testing services when compared to other participants. CONCLUSIONS: Women are interested in genetic testing for HBOC. Specific counseling on barriers to minority and low socioeconomic communities, such as cost and education regarding genetic testing procedures, may be beneficial in increasing utilization of genetic testing for HBOC in these communities. Women who experience more discrimination may have increased perceptions of their susceptibility to hereditary cancer syndromes and may benefit from personalized risk counseling.


© 2017, Taylor Jane Apostolico

Included in

Genetics Commons