Timing of referral for genetic counseling and genetic testing in patients with ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal carcinoma

Akiva P. Novetsky, Kylie Smith, Sheri A. Babb, Donna B. Jeffe, Andrea R. Hagemann, Premal H. Thaker, Matthew A. Powell, David G. Mutch, L. Stewart Massad, Israel Zighelboim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess patients' preferences of the timing of referral for genetic counseling and testing in relation to the diagnosis, treatment, and recurrence of ovarian, tubal, or primary peritoneal cancers. Methods: Ninety-two patients who underwent counseling and testing by 1 certified genetic counselorwere identified. An introductory letter, consent form, and questionnairewere mailed to gather information regarding factors influencing the decision to undergo genetic counseling and testing and opinions regarding optimal timing. Medical records were reviewed for demographic and clinical data. Results: Of 47 consenting women, 45 underwent testing. Eight (18%) were found to have a genetic mutation. Women lacked consensus about the optimal time for referral for and to undergo genetic testing, although women with stage I disease preferred testing after completion of chemotherapy. Most women were comfortable receiving the results by phone, but one third preferred an office visit. Conclusions: Patients' views regarding the best time to be referred for and undergo counseling and testing varied greatly. Because of the high mortality of this disease, clinicians should discuss referral early and personalize the timing to each patient. The subset of patients who prefer results disclosure during an office visit should be identified at the time of their initial counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1021
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • BRCA mutation
  • Genetic counseling
  • Genetic testing
  • Ovarian/fallopian tube/primary peritoneal cancer
  • Timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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