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Behavioral, Counseling & Psychosocial Implications of Increased Cancer Risk

For individuals at increased risk of developing cancer, knowing about the risk can affect decision-making around behavior, couple relationships, family formation, and risk-reduction strategies. DCEG investigators in the Clinical Genetics Branch are studying the genetic counseling, behavioral and psychosocial implications of being at increased genetic risk of cancer by selectively incorporating such research into both new and ongoing clinical research projects. CGB staff members bring a unique combination of training to these studies, including oncology, cancer genetics, genetic counseling, and marriage/family therapy. Capabilities in these areas are further supplemented by collaborations with senior behavioral research colleagues from other NIH divisions and postdoctoral fellows (including NCI Cancer Prevention Fellows), from the Division of Cancer Control and Population Studies (DCCPS) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). To date, nearly 50 publications have resulted from this research.

Projects that currently fall within this domain include (1) the ongoing development of the CEGRM (Colored Ecogenetics Relationship Map), a novel counseling tool aimed at identifying sources of social support; (2) a series of analyses focused on the lives of young BRCA1/2 mutation carriers; (3) analyses of surgical decision-making and the influence of test ambiguity on screening behavior among BRCA mutation carriers; (4) a comprehensive set of psychosocial/behavioral analyses, both cross-sectional and longitudinal, among GOG-0199 study participants; and (5) initiation of data collection in our newest clinical research protocol, which targets the Li-Fraumeni syndrome.

For more information, contact Jennifer T. Loud.

Clinical Genetics Branch - Research Areas