Original Article

The knowledge of hereditary breast cancer, and attitude and intention towards genetic testing of the patients with high-risk hereditary breast cancer

Hey Mi Park1, Sangeun Jun2

1Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea (Retired)
2College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea

*Corresponding author: sejun2@kmu.ac.kr


Purpose: This study aimed to explore the knowledge of hereditary breast cancer (HBC) and attitudes and intention towards genetic testing of the patients with high-risk HBC, and to describe their differences according to the intention of genetic test. Methods: High-risk HBC patients (n = 138) who did not take genetic test or relevant counseling were recruited in D city, Korea. Participants completed questionnaires including demographic characteristics, knowledge of HBC, and attitudes and intention of genetic test. Results: The average score of knowledge on HBC was 9.59±2.32, and the average positive and negative attitude scores were 31.36±4.12 and 24.13±4.78, respectively. The benefit of genetic test rated as most important was “to help my daughters or sisters decide whether to undergo genetic testing” and “to motivate me to perform breast self-examination more frequently”. The most important perceived limitation was “if I were found to carry the gene, my concerns about my female offspring developing breast cancer would increase.” Of the participants, 40.6% indicated willingness to test their genes and 48.6% considered it. Participants with a partner (p=.043) and higher educational level (p=.005) showed significantly lower willingness to test. Conclusion: These results suggest that high-risk HBC patients understand important facts regarding the inheritance of breast cancer and genetic test and their interest in genetic testing is substantial. Considering previous reports that perceptions of the benefits of genetic testing were important predictors of genetic test utilization, the developments of educational and counseling programs to deliver proper knowledge are necessary.


breast neoplam, genetic testing, knowledge, attitude, intention

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