Subjective and objective risk of ovarian cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women testing for BRCA1/2 mutations



Kelly KM, Senter L, Leventhal H, Ozakinci G & Porter K (2008) Subjective and objective risk of ovarian cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women testing for BRCA1/2 mutations. Patient Education and Counseling, 70 (1), pp. 135-142.

Objective Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecological death in the United States, and 14% of ovarian cancer cases are attributed to BRCA1/2 hereditary mutations. This study examined (1) change in subjective ovarian cancer risk in response to genetic counseling and testing, (2) accuracy of subjective ovarian cancer risk estimates, and (3) new methods for conceptualizing subjective ovarian cancer risk based on Leventhal's Common Sense Model, in women at increased risk to carry BRCA1/2 mutations. Methods Women (n = 78) were asked their subjective risk of ovarian cancer (in terms of a percentage, estimated survival time, and projected age of onset) at pre-counseling, post-counseling, 1 week post-result, and 6 months post-result. Results Women with a personal history of breast cancer were most inaccurate at pre- but improved post-counseling. Subjective survival time increased post-counseling. Accuracy of subjective risk improved at post-result for those with uninformative negative results. Subjective percentage risk and subjective survival time decreased at 6 months. Conclusions Subjective risk changed in response to genetic counseling and testing. Common Sense Model-derived assessments of risk may be useful for understanding the impact of genetic counseling and testing. Practice implications Genetic counseling can assist women at risk of carrying BRCA1/2 mutations to understand their risk of ovarian cancer, and genetic testing further refines their risk.

Ovarian cancer; Perceived risk; BRCA1; BRCA2; Genetic counseling; Genetic testing

cited By 13

Patient Education and Counseling: Volume 70, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/2008

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Professor Gozde Ozakinci
Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor in Health Psychology, Psychology