Interest in hereditary breast cancer has increased rapidly among all health care providers as well as the laity. A major problem for health care providers, however, is the time and skill required for gathering family history, interpreting the pedigree, and providing genetic counseling for the high-risk patient so that BRCA testing, when indicated, can be pursued and screening and prevention strategies employed by the patient. The fields of hereditary cancer and molecular biology have developed at a rate that makes it difficult for physicians to keep up with this explosive knowledge. Therefore, "Who is going to take care of all of these crucial matters for patient benefit?" is a germane question. Our experience has confirmed that the advanced practice oncology nurse who is interested in cancer genetics can become skilled at providing this service to the patient and his/her family. This study portrays the role of such an oncology nurse in meeting this important public health challenge, with special attention devoted to the logistics of this role in the rapidly emerging field of hereditary breast cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine