Psychological opportunities and hazards in predictive genetic testing for cancer risk

A. M. Codori

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Although the availability of genetic tests seems like an unequivocally favorable turn of events, they are, in fact, not without controversy. At the center of the controversy is a question regarding the risks and benefits of genetic testing. Many geneticists, ethicists, psychologists, and persons at risk for cancer are concerned about the potentially adverse psychological effects of genetic testing on tested persons and their families. In addition, the screening and interventions that are useful in the general population remain to be shown effective in those with high genetic cancer risk. Consequently, there have been calls for caution in moving genetic testing out of research laboratories and into commercial laboratories until their impact and the effectiveness of cancer prevention strategies can be studied. This article examines the arguments and data for and against this caution, citing examples related to hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer and drawing upon literature on testing for other genetic diseases.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)19-39
    Number of pages21
    JournalGastroenterology Clinics of North America
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gastroenterology

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