, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 351-364
Date: 15 May 2008

Testicular Cancer and Genetics Knowledge Among Familial Testicular Cancer Family Members

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Abstract

Purpose

It was our aim to determine baseline levels of testicular cancer and genetics knowledge among members of families with Familial Testicular Cancer (FTC).

Methods

This is a sub-study of an ongoing National Cancer Institute (NCI) multidisciplinary, etiologically-focused, cross-sectional study of FTC. We evaluated 258 male and female participants including testicular cancer (TC) survivors, blood relatives and spouses to assess factors associated with a Genetic Knowledge Scale (GKS) and Testicular Cancer Knowledge Scale (TCKS).

Results

Knowledge levels were generally low, with genetic knowledge lower than TC knowledge (p < 0.01). Men with a personal TC history scored highest on TC knowledge, while gender, age and education differentially influenced knowledge levels, particularly among unaffected relatives.

Conclusions

Prior to identifying FTC susceptibility genes, we recommend tailoring FTC genetic education to the different informational needs of TC survivors, their spouses and relatives, in preparation for the day when clinical susceptibility testing may be available.

June A. Peters and Ellen B. Beckjord, “Co-First Authors.” Each contributed equally to the work reported herein.
Work on this manuscript was conducted while Dr. Beckjord was in the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute.
As this manuscript was going to press, a special issue of the Journal of Genetic Counseling focusing on “Genetics in Health Practice and Education” was published. As this topic is related to our paper, we direct interested readers to relevant papers in the Volume 17, Number 2, 2008 issue of the J of Genet Counsel.