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SGO Clinical Practice Statement: Genetic Testing for Ovarian Cancer

DNA Women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian, tubal, and peritoneal cancers should be considered for genetic counseling and testing, even in the absence of a family history, according to March 2014 guidance issued by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

The statement notes that “Nearly one-third of women with hereditary ovarian carcinoma have no close relatives with cancer, and 35% of women with hereditary ovarian carcinoma are older than 60 years at diagnosis. Therefore, all women diagnosed with ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal carcinoma, regardless of age or family history, should receive genetic counseling with consideration of genetic testing. Careful pre- and posttest counseling is essential to understanding genetic testing options and results. Genetic counseling and testing can be conducted by genetic counselors, as well as other knowledgeable medical professionals.

“Identification of hereditary cancer sus - ceptibility allows for identification of cancer risk in other organs. Additionally, genetic results are valuable to inform other family members about their cancer risk, allowing personalized prevention to high-risk individuals, including more intensive screening and risk-reducing surgery. Family members found not to carry the mutation may also receive reassurance and avoid unnecessary screening and interventions.

“New therapies such as PARP inhibitors are currently being tested for the treatment of ovarian carcinoma associated with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 (J Clin Oncol. 2012;30(4):372-379). The SGO encourages the medical community to offer hereditary cancer risk assessment to all women with ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal carcinoma.” The complete statement and associated references is available at

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