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Table 5. Final version of the plain-language guide for breast cancer genetic counseling and testing

From: Development of a plain-language guide for discussing breast cancer genetic counseling and testing with patients with limited health literacy

Jargon word Plain language
BRCA 1 Name of one of the breast cancer genes. The abbreviation is from Breast-Cancer. A mistake in this gene causes an increased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer
BRCA 2 Name of one of the breast cancer genes. The abbreviation is from Breast-Cancer. A mistake in this gene causes an increased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer (risk of ovarian cancer is lower than with a BRCA 1 mutation)
Cells “Building blocks” of our body
CHEK 2 Name of one of the breast-cancer genes. A mistake in this gene causes an increased risk of breast cancer, but this risk is lower than with the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes.
Clinical geneticist Physician with a specialization in heredity
Diagnose To determine if someone has a disease (e.g. breast cancer)
DNA This contains all your personal characteristics. It is your blueprint or the recipe of your body
DNA test A test to find out if there are any changes in your DNA
Familial breast cancer When breast cancer is common in the family
Family history The diseases that are in the family
Family tree A drawing of your family and relatives; father, mother, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and so on
Gene A small piece of your DNA with a special characteristic, like the color of your eyes
Genetic counselor Someone who gives information and advice about heredity and genetic testing
Gene mutation Change or mistake in a gene, in a piece of DNA
Gene panel A group of genes investigated at the same time
Genetic predisposition If a certain disease is in your family and you can pass it on to the next generation
Genetic test Heredity test, DNA test
Hereditary Something your parents pass on to you; it is “in the family”
Hereditary screening Testing to find out if a certain disease is in your family
Increased risk You are more likely to get the disease
Inheritance How the disease is passed on within the family
Mamma care Breast-care in the hospital
Mammography X-ray of the breasts
Mutation A change or a mistake
Mutation carrier Someone with a change or a mistake in one of the genes
Pathologic examination Examination of tissue and cells in a laboratory
Physician assistant Healthcare professional who independently takes over medical tasks from the clinical geneticist
Preventive examination A medical examination to see if there are indications of a disease, such as breast cancer
Risk factor Something that increases the chance of getting a disease
Screening Medical exam to find out if there is an abnormality
Transmissible Something in the family that can be passed on to the next generation, such as a disease or your eye color
Triple negative tumor A special type of breast cancer, the tumor has special characteristics
Tumor Benign or malignant (cancer) growths