Does and should breast cancer genetic counselling include lifestyle advice?

A. Albada, M. Vernooij, L. van Osch, A. Pijpe, S. van Dulmen, M.G.E.M. Ausems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

To optimally inform counselees about their and their relatives' risks, information about lifestyle risk factors, e.g. physical activity and alcohol consumption, might be discussed in breast cancer genetic counselling. This study explored whether lifestyle was discussed, on whose initiative, whether information and/or advice was given, and whether discussion of lifestyle was related to counselees' characteristics and their causal attributions. First and follow-up consultations with 192 consecutive counselees for breast cancer genetic counselling were videotaped and coded for discussion of lifestyle topics. Counselees completed web-based questionnaires before the initial and after the final consultation. With 52 (27 %) counselees lifestyle was discussed, either in the first, or the final consultation, or both. Counselees mostly raised the topic (60 %). Counsellors provided information about lifestyle risk factors to 19 % and lifestyle advice to 6 % of the counselees. Discussion of lifestyle was not associated with counselees' characteristics or causal attributions. Post-counselling, more affected counselees considered lifestyle as a cause of their breast cancer (29 %) compared to pre-counselling (15 %; p = 0.003). Information and advice about lifestyle risk factors was infrequently provided, both with breast cancer unaffected and affected counselees and with those who did and did not consider their lifestyle as a cause of their breast cancer. Modifiable lifestyle factors could be discussed more frequently to optimally inform counselees about possible ways to reduce their risk. Counsellors should be educated about effects of lifestyle and research should be conducted on how to best integrate lifestyle information in breast cancer genetic counselling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalFamilial Cancer
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • BRCA1/2
  • Lifestyle risk factors
  • Breast cancer
  • Genetic counselling
  • COLLABORATIVE REANALYSIS
  • MUTATION CARRIERS
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
  • INDIVIDUAL DATA
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • WOMEN
  • BRCA1
  • COMMUNICATION
  • FAMILIES
  • NEEDS

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