Title

“It was an Emotional Baby”: Previvors’ Family Planning Decision-Making Styles about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2017

Keywords

hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, decision-making, genetic risk, disease risk, genetic testing, family communication, BRCA1, BRCA2, qualitative research

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10897-017-0069-8

Abstract

Women who test positive for a BRCA genetic mutation are at an increased risk for developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and have a 50% chance of passing on their genetic mutation to their children. The purpose of this study was to investigate how women who test positive for a BRCA mutation but have not been diagnosed with cancer make decisions regarding family planning. Analysis of interviews with 20 women revealed they engage in logical and emotional decision-making styles. Although women want to be logical to reduce their hereditary cancer risk, emotions often complicate their decision-making. Women experience fear and worry about a future cancer diagnosis, yet also desire to create a family, particularly having children through natural conception. That is, women negotiate having preventative surgeries in a logical doctor-recommended timeframe but also organize those decisions around emotional desires of motherhood. Overall, this study demonstrates the complex decisions women who test positive for a BRCA mutation must make in regards to genetic testing timing, family planning, and overall quality of life.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Genetic Counseling, v. 26, issue 6, p. 1301-1313

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