Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 155–163 | Cite as

NSGC Practice Guideline: Risk Assessment and Genetic Counseling for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

  • Janice L. BerlinerEmail author
  • Angela Musial Fay
  • Shelly A. Cummings
  • Brittany Burnett
  • Todd Tillmanns
Professional Development Paper


The purpose of this document is to present a current and comprehensive set of practice recommendations for effective genetic cancer risk assessment, counseling and testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The intended audience is genetic counselors and other health professionals who care for individuals with, or at increased risk of, hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer.


Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer BRCA1 BRCA2 Cancer genetic counseling Risk assessment Medical management 



The practice guidelines of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) are developed by members of the NSGC to assist genetic counselors and other health care providers in making decisions about appropriate management of genetic concerns, including access to and/or delivery of services. Each practice guideline focuses on a clinical or practice-based issue, and is the result of a review and analysis of current professional literature believed to be reliable. As such, information and recommendations within the NSGC practice guidelines reflect the current scientific and clinical knowledge at the time of publication, are only current as of their publication date, and are subject to change without notice as advances emerge.

In addition, variations in practice, which take into account the needs of the individual patient and the resources and limitations unique to the institution or type of practice, may warrant approaches, treatments and/or procedures that differ from the recommendations outlined in this guideline. Therefore, these recommendations should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of management, nor does the use of such recommendations guarantee a particular outcome. Genetic counseling practice guidelines are never intended to displace a health care provider’s best medical judgment based on the clinical circumstances of a particular patient or patient population. Practice guidelines are published by NSGC for educational and informational purposes only, and NSGC does not “approve” or “endorse” any specific methods, practices, or sources of information.

© 2012 National Society of Genetic Counselors. All rights reserved. This document may not, in whole or in part, be reproduced, copied or disseminated, entered into or stored in a computer database or retrieval system, or otherwise utilized without the prior written consent of the NSGC.

Supplementary material

10897_2012_9547_MOESM1_ESM.xls (36 kb)
ESM 1 (XLS 35.5 KB)


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janice L. Berliner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angela Musial Fay
    • 2
  • Shelly A. Cummings
    • 3
  • Brittany Burnett
    • 4
  • Todd Tillmanns
    • 5
  1. 1.Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterBasking RidgeUSA
  2. 2.Meridian HealthNeptuneUSA
  3. 3.Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc.Salt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.Sharp HealthcareSan DiegoCanada
  5. 5.The West Clinic and The University of TennesseHealth Science CenterMemphisUSA

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