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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice 1/2014

Long-term satisfaction and quality of life following risk reducing surgery in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers

Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice > Ausgabe 1/2014
Gillian W Hooker, Lesley King, Lauren VanHusen, Kristi Graves, Beth N Peshkin, Claudine Isaacs, Kathryn L Taylor, Elizabeth Poggi, Marc D Schwartz
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

GWH performed statistical analysis and oversaw drafting of the manuscript. LK and LV performed literature reviews and assisted in the drafting of the manuscript. KH, BNP and EP provide project management and oversight in participant recruitment and data management. EP conducted interviews and coordinated survey collection. KG, BNP, CI, KT participated in the design of the study and clinical recruitment of the original cohorts of participants. MDS conceived of the study, participated in design and coordination, oversaw the statistical analysis and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



As BRCA1/2 testing becomes more routine, questions remain about long-term satisfaction and quality of life following testing. Previously, we described long term distress and risk management outcomes among women with BRCA1/2 mutations. This study addresses positive psychological outcomes in BRCA1/2 carriers, describing decision satisfaction and quality of life in the years following testing.


We evaluated satisfaction with testing and management decisions among 144 BRCA1/2 carriers. Prior to genetic testing, we assessed family history, sociodemographics and distress. At a mean of 5.3 years post-testing, we assessed management decisions, satisfaction with decisions and, among women with cancer, quality of life.


Overall, satisfaction with decision making was high. Women who had risk reducing mastectomy or oophorectomy were more satisfied with management decisions. Participants who obtained a risk reducing oophorectomy were more satisfied with their genetic testing decision. Among affected carriers, high pretest anxiety was associated with poorer quality of life and having had risk reducing mastectomy prior to testing was associated with better quality of life. The negative impact of pre-test anxiety was diminished among women who had mastectomies before testing.


BRCA1/2 carriers are satisfied with their testing and risk management decisions and report good quality of life years after testing. Having risk reducing surgery predicts increased satisfaction and improved quality of life.
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