This blog will cover topics of interest that affect our community. Unless otherwise stated, the blog articles will be written by Sue Friedman, Executive Director of FORCE.

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FORCE Collaborates on Genetics Toolkit for Health Care Providers to Help Improve Patient Care

January 5, 2017

SGO 2016 toolkit

by Alexandria Groves

In October The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) announced the release of the SGO Genetics Toolkit to provide critical and important information to health professionals, patients and their families, and anyone who wants a deeper understanding of gynecologic cancers and genetics. The Toolkit is the result of a collaboration between experts from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the National Study of Genetic Counselors, FORCE and Bright Pink. This partnership produced a web-based resource that addresses real and common issues surrounding hereditary risk assessment and genetic testing in women with or worried about gynecologic cancers and their families.

The SGO Genetics Toolkit includes case studies designed to help providers and patients understand the significance of their genetic test results for themselves and other members of their families. The toolkit corrects some common misconceptions about the genetics of gynecologic cancers and sheds light upon often overlooked nuances of genetic testing. It also introduces resources to the families to help them adjust and adapt to the results of their genetic tests. Cases include:

  • BRCA-related ovarian cancer
  • Daughter of BRCA mutation carrier
  • Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes)
  • Health outcomes after risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy
  • Impact of hereditary gene mutations on male family members
  • Ambiguous test results and variants
  • Lynch syndrome

These case studies follow one woman and her family’s journey with genetics and gynecologic cancer, raising issues such as the psychological impact of undergoing genetic testing, consequences of risk-reducing removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and what to do if someone is found to carry a variant of uncertain significance (VUS).

The SGO Genetics Toolkit is now available here. FORCE is proud to have been a part of this collaboration and hopes that the SGO Genetics Toolkit becomes a valuable resource and improves patient care.

Alexandria Groves studies Professional Writing at Juniata College. She has been an intern at FORCE this fall. We thank her for her amazing work this semester.

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