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Study questions value of genetic advice on breast cancer in primary care


How women with a family history of breast cancer and their general practitioners act on genetic advice in general practice: prospective longitudinal study

The value of giving genetic advice on breast cancer in primary care is questionable, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

Researchers in the Netherlands studied women's compliance with advice provided by their general practitioner that was based on assessment of genetic risk and whether this genetic advice was in line with the advice of a clinical geneticist.

Their findings question the value of giving genetic advice on breast cancer in primary care. Firstly, women showed a low level of compliance with genetic advice given by their general practitioner. Secondly, the geneticist's advice was not followed by the general practitioner in 30% of the consultations and, thirdly, there is no evidence that surveillance is effective in women under 50. Nevertheless, the authors believe that there is a place for genetic advice in general practice and that further research could improve its effectiveness.


Contact: Geertruida H de Bock, Epidemiologist, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, Netherlands C/o Dirk Ketting (the promotor of the organisation LUMC) e-mail dketting@LUMC.NL

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