Cancer genetic risk assessment for individuals at risk of familial breast cancer (Review)

Rachel Iredale, J S Hilgart, B Coles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BackgroundThe recognition of an inherited component to breast cancer has led to an increase in demand for information, reassurance, and genetic testing, which has resulted in the creation of genetic clinics for familial cancer. The first step for patients referred to a cancer genetic clinic is a risk assessment.ObjectivesTo evaluate the impact of cancer genetic risk-assessment services on patients at risk of familial breast cancer.Search methods The specialised register maintained by the Cochrane Breast Cancer Group was searched on 16th February 2005. We also searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycLIT, CENTRAL, DARE, ASSIA, Web of Science, SIGLE and LILACS. The original searchescovered the period 1985 to February 2005. We also handsearched relevant journals. For this review update the search was repeated through to April 2011.Selection criteriaWe considered trials looking at interventions for cancer genetic risk-assessment services for familial breast cancer for inclusion. Trials assessed outcomes such as understanding of risk, satisfaction and psychological well-being. We excluded studies if they concerned cancers other than breast cancer or if participants were not at risk of inherited breast cancer. We also excluded trials concerning the provision of general cancer genetic information or education as this review was concerned with the delivery of genetic risk assessment. Participants could be individuals of any age or gender, with or without a known BRCA mutation, but without a previous history of breast cancer or any other serious illness.Data collection and analysisTwo review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Additional information was sought from investigators as necessary. Due to the heterogeneity of both the interventions and outcomes, we reported data descriptively.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • cancer
  • genetic
  • risk assessment
  • familial breast cancer


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