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Table 2 Interpretation of two genetics reports by breast cancer specialists

From: Understanding of BRCA VUS genetic results by breast cancer specialists

  Total Medical oncologist Clinical oncologist Surgeon
No. (%) No. (%) No. (%) No. (%)
155 (100 %) 63 (40.7 %) 54 (34.8 %) 38 (24.5 %)
Interpretation of report 1     
 No pathogenic mutation 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %)
 A gene mutation found but unknown if causing her breast cancer 130 (83.9 %) 57 (90.5 %) 45 (83.3 %) 28 (73.7 %)
 A pathogenic BRCA2 gene mutation 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %)
 Don’t know 21 (13.6 %) 5 (7.9 %) 8 (14.8 %) 8 (21.1 %)
 Other 4 (2.6 %) 1 (1.6 %) 1 (1.9 %) 2 (5.3 %)
Communication to patient report 1a     
 Reassure the patient that there is no hereditary cause for her breast cancer. 1 (0.6 %) 0 (0 %) 1 (1.9 %) 0 (0 %)
 Explain there may be a hereditary cause and discuss further tests. 95 (61.2 %) 45 (71.4 %) 29 (53.7 %) 21 (55.3 %)
 Explain BRCA2 mutation contributed to causing her breast cancer. 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %)
 Explain she has a BRCA2 mutation discuss risk reducing options. 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %)
 Refer patients to a genetics consultant. 81 (52.2 %) 36 (57.1 %) 30 (55.6 %) 15 (39.5 %)
 Don't know. 7 (4.5 %) 0 (0 %) 3 (5.6 %) 4 (10.5 %)
 Other (free text) 11 (7.1 %) 4 (6.3 %) 2 (3.7 %) 5 (13.2 %)
Interpretation of report 2     
 No pathogenic mutation 35 (22.6 %) 18 (28.6 %) 10 (18.5 %) 7 (18.4 %)
 A gene mutation found but unknown if causing her breast cancer 71 (45.8 %) 31 (49.2 %) 23 (42.6 %) 17 (44.7 %)
 A pathogenic BRCA2 gene mutation 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %)
 Don't Know 49 (31.6 %) 14 (22.2 %) 21 (38.9 %) 14 (36.8 %)
Communication to patient report 2a     
 Reassure the patient that there is no hereditary cause for her breast cancer. 10 (6.5 %) 2 (3.2 %) 2 (3.7 %) 6 (15.8 %)
 Explain there may be a hereditary cause and discuss further tests. 13 (8.4 %) 7 (11.1 %) 3 (5.6 %) 3 (7.9 %)
 Explain BRCA2 mutation contributed to causing her breast cancer. 1 (0.6 %) 0 (0 %) 1 (1.9 %) 0 (0 %)
 Explain she has a BRCA2 mutation discuss risk reducing options. 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %)
 Refer patients to a genetics consultant. 68 (43.8 %) 24 (38.1 %) 24 (44.4 %) 14 (36.8 %)
 Don't know/no answer 58 (37.4 %) 25 (39.7 %) 22 (40.7 %) 11 (28.9 %)
 Other (free text) 12 (7.7 %) 5 (7.9 %) 2 (3.7 %) 5 (13.2 %)
  1. aNumbers do not add to 100 % as multiple responses allowed