Longitudinal cancer risk management trajectories of BRCA1/2 mutation-positive reproductive-age women

Jennifer Louise Young*, Allison Werner-Lin, Rebecca Mueller, Lindsey Hoskins, Norman Epstein, Mark H. Greene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Young women with BRCA1/2 mutations face difficult health-care decisions regarding family formation, fertility, breastfeeding, and whether/when to undergo cancer risk-reducing surgery. This longitudinal qualitative study investigated these life choices during the reproductive years. We conducted two semistructured interviews over three years with 12 reproductive-age BRCA1/2-positive women. Researchers coded transcripts to examine the evolution of risk perceptions, risk management, and family planning decisions. To cope with the conflict between cancer risk reduction versus plans for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and child rearing, participants deliberately prioritized either risk reducing surgery or family formation goals. Implications for mutation carriers and health-care providers are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-408
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017


  • BRCA
  • breast
  • family
  • ovary
  • qualitative
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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