Information concerning genetic predisposition and the discovery of genes associated with certain cancer risks is changing rapidly. Nurses must keep abreast of these changes so that they can better understand the choices patients have and the consequences of those choices. This article discusses the issues pertinent to women with a genetic predisposition to breast or ovarian cancer, or both. Discoveries in the Human Genome Project have already begun to change traditional perspectives on screening, diagnosing, preventing, and treating cancer. These genetic discoveries hold both promise and concern for health care professionals. The promise lies in the precise identification of genetic predisposition to common diseases and the potential to prevent or reduce morbidity and mortality rates. The concern lies in issues of confidentiality and discrimination: Predicting predisposition to incurable illnesses may have substantial negative impact on the person’s quality of life and psychosocial integrity
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Application to Assessment and Management in Health and Illness| November 01 1998
Genetic Predisposition to Breast and Ovarian Cancer: A Case Study
Stephanie Amlung, RN, PhD;
*From the Institute for Nursing Research, College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati, West Chester, Ohio.
Reprint requests to Stephanie Amlung, RN, PhD, the Institute for Nursing Research, College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati, 6379 Oregon Pass, West Chester, OH 45069.
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Karen Huelsman, MS, CGC;
AACN Adv Crit Care (1998) 9 (4): 555–562.
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Stephanie Amlung, Karen Huelsman, Barbara Skinn; Genetic Predisposition to Breast and Ovarian Cancer: A Case Study. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 November 1998; 9 (4): 555–562. doi:
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