The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cancer genetic consultations on feelings of anxiety in women with breast/ovarian cancer. Among the 138 women attending six French clinics during a one-year period, 115 (83.3%) answered pre- and post-consultation questionnaires. The state anxiety score (Spielberger's STAI) was lower (paired t-test, p<0.001) after the consultation (34.7 9.4) than before (38.8 10.5). The time elapsing since cancer diagnosis (r=-0.28, p=0.007) was the main predictor of the decrease in anxiety. The patients consulting earlier after their cancer was diagnosed were more anxious before the consultation than those consulting later: whereas their anxiety states after the consultation were similar. The consultation effectively decreased the anxiety observed and the anxiety felt by cancer patients before the consultation may constitute an anticipatory stress response that should be investigated.