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Genetic Evaluation for Breast Cancer Susceptibility in South Texas

Grant: POP 0504285


Hispanic women tend to be diagnosed with more advanced stages of breast cancer with poorer survival rates than non-Hispanic whites, but women who receive genetic counseling may improve their survival rates. This project will put 300 women (150 Hispanics and 150 non-Hispanic whites) ages 30 and older through a pre-tested, culturally sensitive survey to identify their breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Participants who have a high genetic risk of breast cancer risk (those with breast cancer before age 50 or those with multiple family members with breast and/or ovarian cancer) will receive genetic counseling. After counseling, those who meet the criteria for genetic testing will be offered it. Investigators will compare differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites concerning 1) awareness, perceived benefits, and risk of breast cancer genetic testing; 2) characteristics of the women undergoing genetic evaluation; and 3) factors associated with decisions to accept or decline breast cancer counseling and testing.


  • Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH
    IHPR, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio


  • Alexander Miller, MD
    Director of Surgical Oncology & Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment Clinic Director, Texas Cancer Clinic (at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center for this project)
  • Pam Otto, MD,
    Director of Radiology at the University Hospital Department of Radiology and Director of Breast Imaging and Intervention


  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Cancer Therapy and Research Center


Targeting 300 women ages 30 or older in South Texas


The investigators hypothesize that women who reject counseling will report more barriers to genetic testing and will be less informed about breast cancer genetics. The study’s results will be published and used to develop culturally sensitive interventions and materials to improve informed decision-making for breast cancer counseling and testing among Hispanic and non-Hispanic women.


In progress