Genetic Counseling

School of Health and Human Sciences

An Analysis of Information Captured in Genetic Counseling Cancer Pedigrees of Hispanic-Americans
Capstone Project Committee: Adam Buchanan, Lauren Doyle, MGC, CGC, Kate Hughes, MS, CGC, Thuy Vu, CGC
It has been suggested that there may be less information recorded on Hispanic women’s pedigrees than on Caucasian women’s pedigrees in a hereditary breast cancer assessment setting (Weitzel et al, 2013). This information disparity would make cancer genetic risk assessment more difficult, which could cause Hispanic women and their families to not receive standard-of-care breast cancer risk management. To evaluate the amount of information recorded on pedigrees for each population, we collected pedigrees for 33 women who received a breast and ovarian hereditary cancer syndrome evaluation at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center’s Derrick L. Davis Cancer and reviewed these pedigrees. In many measures of pedigree completeness, we saw no significant differences between the populations –for example, no significant difference was noted in the percent of family that had a living age or age of death recorded, there was no significant difference in the percent of deceased family members who had a cause of death recorded, and there was no statistically significant difference in the percent of family diagnosed with cancer who had a specific cancer diagnosis or age of diagnosis. There was also no significant difference in the number of family members recorded on each pedigree. However, we noted that a significantly higher percent of family was recorded as being affected with cancer on Caucasian patient’s pedigrees than on Hispanic patient’s pedigrees. Additionally, Hispanic patients had a significantly lower percentage of third-degree relatives recorded on their pedigrees. It was reassuring that many of the measures of pedigree completeness were not statistically different between populations, indicating that the pedigrees of Hispanic individuals are as thorough as the pedigrees of Caucasian individuals.
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