Interest, awareness, and perceptions of genetic testing among hispanic family members of breast cancer survivors

Amelie G. Ramirez, Fabiola E. Aparicio-Ting, Sandra San Miguel De Majors, Alexander R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide a preliminary description of the interest, awareness, and perceptions of genetic testing among Hispanics with a family history of breast cancer Design: This cross-sectional pilot study used interpersonal structured interviews for data collection. Participants: We interviewed 48 Hispanics without breast cancer but who had a family member with breast cancer; participants lived in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Main Outcome: The outcomes were interest in breast cancer genetic testing, awareness about genetic testing, perceived risk of carrying a breast cancer susceptibility gene, and the perceived benefits and risks associated with a genetic test. Measures: Items previously used in research regarding interest and perceived genetic risk and a previously validated benefits and risks-limitations scale for genetic testing commonly used by other researchers were used to measure the outcomes. Results: Awareness of genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility was very low, yet most (82%) participants were interested in a genetic test for breast cancer susceptibility. Participants were more likely to identify with the benefits than the potential risks of genetic testing. The most highly endorsed benefits were to know to take better care of one's self and to undergo more frequent screening. Conclusions: Hispanics seem to have positive perceptions about genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility. However, the high level of interest in genetic testing may be driven by a lack of knowledge about genetic testing. Culturally sensitive and appropriate educational programs about breast cancer genetic testing and the surrounding issues are needed for the Hispanic population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-403
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Attitudes
  • Family
  • Genetic testing
  • Genetic testing awareness
  • Hereditary breast cancer
  • Hispanic
  • Interest in genetic testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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