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The University of Southampton
Macmillan Survivorship Research Group

Cancer Research UK Studentship

Family communication following genetic testing for breast/ovarian cancer predisposition

Funder: Cancer Research UK - PhD Studentship
PI: Claire Foster

Since genetic testing became a possibility for breast/ovarian cancer predisposition in the mid 1990s, research has assessed the impact of predictive genetic testing for people who are told they are at significantly increased risk of developing cancer. The research evidence suggests that talking about a family history of cancer, associated risks and genetic testing can be very difficult for concerned individuals and their relatives.

We are taking forward this research at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton by looking at how people communicate genetic test information to their relatives; its implications; and how they could be supported in doing this. This information will then help us in the development of an intervention to support people in talking to their relatives following genetic testing. We are doing this in collaboration with colleagues in the Wessex Clinical Genetics team with funding from Cancer Research UK.

As more genes are discovered there is likely to be an increase in numbers of people affected by these issues. We are well placed to understand the experiences of people going through testing and to develop interventions to help people manage problems associated with the process.

If you have any queries regarding this study please contact the MSRG secretary on 02380 596885, or email

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