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Key Messages for Providers

  • Encourage your patients to collect their ancestry and cancer family history, including for second- and third-degree relatives if possible. They should collect the type of cancer and age at diagnosis if possible, and update the family history every one to two years.
  • Review your patient’s past medical history and family history to determine if she would benefit from genetic counseling and possibly genetic testing.
  • Use risk assessment tools to determine which patients could benefit from a referral to a genetic counselor.
  • If you suspect your patient is at high risk for any hereditary cancer, refer him or her to a genetic counselor.
  • If your patient is at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer due to a BRCA gene mutation, consideration should be given to prophylactic surgery, enhanced surveillance, and/or chemoprevention.
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