• Article

Psychological issues in cancer genetics

OBJECTIVES: To review the behavioral research that addresses the impact of hereditary cancer on the family and the psychological aspects of choosing whether or not to undergo susceptibility testing.

DATA SOURCES: Scientific articles and book chapters in the professional literature pertaining to the psychological aspects of cancer genetics and susceptibility testing.

CONCLUSIONS: Susceptibility gene testing for a variety of rare hereditary cancer syndromes and familial cancers will offer new options and challenges to members of cancer families.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Oncology nurses will be involved in the identification of hereditary cancer families at risk assessment and counseling, the offer of susceptibility testing to those who may benefit, and the provision of follow-up support and referral.


Biesecker, B. B. (1997). Psychological issues in cancer genetics. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 13(2), 129-34.