Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 124, Issue 3, pp 755–764

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


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.


Breast cancer BRCA mutation Prophylactic mastectomy Prophylactic oophorectomy Screening Pros Cons 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne C. O’Neill
    • 1
  • Heiddis B. Valdimarsdottir
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Tiffani A. DeMarco
    • 1
  • Beth N. Peshkin
    • 1
  • Kristi D. Graves
    • 1
  • Karen Brown
    • 5
  • Karen E. Hurley
    • 6
  • Claudine Isaacs
    • 1
  • Sharon Hecker
    • 1
  • Marc D. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Control Program and Fisher Center for Familial Cancer Research, Department of Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer CenterGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oncological SciencesMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and EducationUniversity of ReykjavikReykjavikIceland
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IcelandReykjavikIceland
  5. 5.Department of Genetics and Genomic SciencesMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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