BRCA1/2 test results impact risk management attitudes, intentions, and uptake

Suzanne C. O'Neill, Heiddis B. Valdimarsdottir, Tiffani A. Demarco, Beth N. Peshkin, Kristi D. Graves, Karen Brown, Karen E. Hurley, Claudine Isaacs, Sharon Hecker, Marc D. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Women who receive positive or uninformative BRCA1/2 test results face a number of decisions about how to manage their cancer risk. The purpose of this study was to prospectively examine the effect of receiving a positive versus uninformative BRCA1/2 genetic test result on the perceived pros and cons of risk-reducing mastectomy (RRM) and risk-reducing oophorectomy (RRO) and breast cancer screening. We further examined how perceived pros and cons of surgery predict intention for and uptake of surgery. 308 women (146 positive, 162 uninformative) were included in RRM and breast cancer screening analyses. 276 women were included in RRO analyses. Participants completed questionnaires at pre-disclosure baseline and 1-, 6-, and 12-months post-disclosure. We used linear multiple regression to assess whether test result contributed to change in pros and cons and logistic regression to predict intentions and surgery uptake. Receipt of a positive BRCA1/2 test result predicted stronger pros for RRM and RRO (P < 0.001), but not perceived cons of RRM and RRO. Pros of surgery predicted RRM and RRO intentions in carriers and RRO intentions in uninformatives. Cons predicted RRM intentions in carriers. Pros and cons predicted carriers' RRO uptake in the year after testing (P < 0.001). Receipt of BRCA1/2 mutation test results impacts how carriers see the positive aspects of RRO and RRM and their surgical intentions. Both the positive and negative aspects predict uptake of surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-764
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • BRCA mutation
  • Breast cancer
  • Cons
  • Prophylactic mastectomy
  • Prophylactic oophorectomy
  • Pros
  • Screening


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