Receiving a positive result for a BRCA1/2 (BRCA) mutation–indicating a high lifetime risk to develop hereditary breast and ovarian cancer–can significantly alter a woman’s identity. BRCA-positive women who have not been diagnosed with cancer may be labeled “previvors,” which distinguishes those at-risk for developing cancer, but have not had cancer. Using semi-structured interviews (N = 25), this study explored how unaffected BRCA-positive women navigate the previvor identity. Women in this sample differed on their definitions of previvor, views of acceptance, rejection, or ambivalence toward the label, and identification as a previvor. Understanding how women interpret and embrace the previvor identity may help inform communication for those with BRCA genetic mutations, but whom have not been diagnosed with cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)