Genetic counselling and testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer: the gent(le) approach

Dis Markers. 1999 Oct;15(1-3):191-5. doi: 10.1155/1999/809125.


The counselling experience with 50 Flemish families in whom mutation analysis of the total coding region of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene has been initiated, is presented. Genetic testing for breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility is offered by a multidisciplinary team. During the counselling sessions, special attention is given to comprehensible and emotionally acceptable communication of genetic information and to the psychosocial evaluation of the counselee. The limitations of molecular testing and the controversy surrounding cancer prevention strategies are also discussed. The overall acceptance of mutation testing is high. Some of the problems encountered are inaccuracy of the reported family history, poor retrieval of the medical records of affected family members and the reluctance of many patients to inform their relatives about the possibility of being tested.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • DNA Mutational Analysis*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1
  • Genetic Counseling* / methods
  • Genetic Counseling* / organization & administration
  • Genetic Testing* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Oncogenes*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Program Evaluation
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Truth Disclosure


  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transcription Factors