Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 434–437 | Cite as

Current Approaches to Cancer Genetic Counseling Services for Spanish-Speaking Patients

  • Bianca Augusto
  • Monica L. Kasting
  • Fergus J. Couch
  • Noralane M. Lindor
  • Susan T. VadaparampilEmail author
Brief Communication


Barriers to genetic counseling services (GCS) utilization for Spanish-speaking patients (SSP) may include language barriers and limited availability of bilingual genetic counselors (GCs). The sample included GCs who: (1) practice cancer genetic counseling, (2) report a cancer practice setting, and (3) have a US mailing address. We assessed: (1) number of Spanish-speaking GCs, (2) estimated proportion of Hispanic patients, and (3) approaches used to counsel SSP. Of respondents (n = 229), 10% (n = 23) spoke Spanish. A higher proportion of GCs practicing in states with ≥ 25% Hispanics reported speaking Spanish compared to those in states with lower Hispanic populations (p = 0.02). While there was a significantly higher percentage of Spanish-speaking GCs in states with larger Hispanic populations, the absolute number was low and unlikely to meet the needs of patients. There is need to increase availability of GCS for SSPs and to understand the impact of services on patient health outcomes.


BRCA Breast cancer Genetic counseling Hereditary cancer Spanish-speaking patients 



This work was supported by the Breast Cancer Spore CA 116201 and in part by the Survey Methods Core Facility at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute; a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (P30-CA76292).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Author Vadaparampil has a research grant from Myriad Genetics Laboratories. Authors Augusto, Lindor, and Couch declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bianca Augusto
    • 1
  • Monica L. Kasting
    • 1
  • Fergus J. Couch
    • 2
  • Noralane M. Lindor
    • 3
  • Susan T. Vadaparampil
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Population ScienceMoffitt Cancer CenterTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Sciences ResearchMayo ClinicScottsdaleUSA

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