Children are now aware of the genetic tests for adult onset diseases much earlier than preventive intervention. Children of parents who are BRCA mutation carriers are usually discouraged from genetic testing till a age when it might be helpful. A new study in the Aug. 20 Journal of Clinical Oncology, describes the prevalence and experiences of parental communication of BRCA results to children under the age of 25-years-old.
"More than half of the parents told their children about their genetic test results. Some parents reported that their children didn't seem to understand the significance of the information shared, and that some had initial negative reactions. Further research is needed to understand the impact of this communication on these children in order to provide optimal counseling for families with a genetic risk of cancer" said the study's author, Angela Bradbury, M.D., director of Fox Chase Cancer Center's Family Risk Assessment Program.