Few Ovarian Cancer Patients Get Recommended Genetic Tests that Could Guide Care, Study Shows

Few Ovarian Cancer Patients Get Recommended Genetic Tests that Could Guide Care, Study Shows
Too few women with ovarian cancer and breast cancer are getting the recommended genetic tests that help evaluate their risk of developing other cancers – which could guide changes in their clinical care – according to a population-based study done in California and Georgia. The discrepancy is particularly strong for women with ovarian cancer, who are “dramatically undertested,” according to researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine who led the study. Less than one third of women with this disease had genetic tests, contrasting with national guidelines recommending genetic testing for all women with the most common form of ovarian cancer. The study also shows the gap between genetic testing recommendations and practice was worst among black women, those with Medicaid or no insurance, and those living in poorer areas. The findings appeared in the study, “Genetic Testing and Results in a Population-Based Cohort of Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Patients,” published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. "We initiated this study — the largest population-based study of multigene testing in breast and ovarian cancer patients — because we wanted to see what cancer genetic testing and results looked like in the real world," Allison Kurian, MD, MSc, one of the study’s lead authors, and an associate professor at Stanford, said in a story written by Krista Conger. Researchers used registries from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program to look at a large number of women diagnosed with breast cancer (77,085) and ovarian cancer (6,001), in Georgia and California, between 2013 and 2014. They analyzed how many of these women were tested for cancer susceptibility genes between 2012 and 2016, and examined what wer
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