Does knowledge about the genetics of breast cancer differ between nongeneticist physicians who do or do not discuss or order BRCA testing?

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PurposeTo assess nongeneticist physicians’ knowledge and experience with BRCA1/2 testing.MethodsIn 1998, 2250 internists, obstetrician-gynecologists (Ob-Gyns), and oncologists practicing in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, or New Jersey were surveyed.ResultsForty percent responded. Only 13% of internists, 21% of Ob-Gyns, and 40% of oncologists correctly answered all four knowledge questions about genetic aspects of breast cancer and testing for it. Knowledge was associated with discussing or ordering only among oncologists.ConclusionDespite deficiencies in their knowledge about the genetic aspects of breast cancer, many nongeneticist physicians have discussed testing and some have ordered testing.

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