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Women Getting Tested For Breast Cancer Gene May Face Another Challenge

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many women get tested for the breast cancer gene mutation then must decide whether to share the results with their children. A new study looks at what they’re deciding and how children react.

Parents are pretty much left on their own when it comes to deciding whether to tell their children about a potential cancer risk. Doctors seldom weigh in, but Dr. Angela Bradbury and colleagues at the Fox Chase Cancer Center thought it might be helpful for parents to know what others in their situation have done so they asked 253 patients about their experience.

She says most parents do share their test results with their children and most children take the information in stride.

“For those who feel reluctant or scared about their child’s response, this data opens the possibility for reframing it and saying there could be a benefit,” said Dr. Bradbury.

Bradbury says children are forming lifelong health habit and knowing of a potential cancer risk could encourage a healthier lifestyle.

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