Breast cancer survivor offers wisdom at Faulkner satellite center
Call 877-422-3324 today to make an appointment
Make your appointment or second opinion with Dana-Farber today to meet with an onsite specialist.
Can’t get to Boston? Explore our Online Second Opinion service to get expert advice from Dana-Farber oncologists.
Toll-Free Number866-408-DFCI (3324)
Discover the ways to give and how to get involved to support Dana-Farber.
Poet Richard Fox gains insight – and material – through cancer treatment
A family faces cancer in an unfamiliar city – with help
Choosing mastectomy or not: Studying young women's surgical choices
Jeff's targeted therapy has kept his advanced lung cancer at bay.
If you have questions about how to talk to your children about genetic testing, make an appointment with Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program psychologist, Andrea Patenaude, PhD, at 617-632-5577.
A: Many parents tested for hereditary cancer predisposition genes worry about how and when to talk to their children about their test results. There are no hard and fast rules, and parents know their children better than anyone, but here are some suggestions based on decades of experience and studies of communication within families about genetic test results.
A: We have been surprised to learn from research on families dealing with hereditary breast/ovarian cancer that many parents tell their children about their genetic test result, even quite young children, and often these conversations take place soon after the testing occurs.
Parents consider these factors when deciding whether or not to share their test results: age, maturity, the emotional state of their child, and the parent's sense of the child's interest in genetic information.
A: That is fine. You may feel your children are too young or that there are too many other things going on in the family to add this discussion to the mix now. You may want to think about a better time to consider talking to your child, for example, when they reach a particular age or after a certain event, like a graduation. This seems to alleviate parents' worries about having what sometimes feels like a "secret." You can always reconsider your plan later and pick a different time to talk with your children.