Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 618–629 | Cite as

Awareness, Perceptions, and Provider Recommendation Related to Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast Cancer Risk among At-Risk Hispanic Women: Similarities and Variations by Sub-Ethnicity

  • Susan T. Vadaparampil
  • Jessica McIntyre
  • Gwendolyn P. Quinn
Original Research


This study explored awareness of risk factors for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC), awareness, knowledge and concerns about genetic testing, and preference for how to have genetic testing recommended by a care provider among at-risk Hispanic women. Differences in these factors among Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican women were also examined. Women with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer from the Tampa Bay Area participated in a qualitative interview (N = 53). Data were analyzed using a combination of open and axial coding with a grounded theory approach. Study participants in all groups reported: being aware that family history was a breast cancer risk factor, limited knowledge of genetic testing, fear of test results, concerns about children’s risks, and no physician referral for genetic testing. Noteworthy sub-ethnic differences included preferences for physician recommendation and information about genetic testing. This study provides important preliminary information about areas related to HBOC that require additional education in the Hispanic community as a whole and by sub-ethnicity.


Hispanic BRCA Sub-ethnicity Genetic testing Hereditary breast ovarian cancer Genetic counseling 



Funding for this project was provided by grant R03HG003887 from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

The work contained within this publication was supported in part by the Survey Methods Core Facility at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

We also gratefully acknowledge our expert panel for their careful and thoughtful review of our study materials: Monica Alvarado, M.S., Talia Donenberg, M.S., Jaime Frias, M.D., Victor Penchaszadeh, M.D., Amelie Ramirez, Ph.D., Charite Ricker, M.S., Sandra San Miguel, M.S., Louella Winburn, Kristina Campos-Wallace, and Jennifer Nieves.

We also wish to thank the study participants for sharing their invaluable thoughts and insights with us.


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan T. Vadaparampil
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jessica McIntyre
    • 2
  • Gwendolyn P. Quinn
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oncologic Sciences, College of MedicineUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Health Outcomes and Behavior ProgramMoffitt Cancer CenterTampaUSA
  3. 3.TampaUSA

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