This PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about cancer genetics risk assessment and counseling. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions.
Communication between clinicians and patients is a multidimensional concept and involves the content of dialogue, the affective component (i.e., what happens emotionally to the physician and patient during the encounter), and nonverbal behaviors.
In oncology, communication skills are a key to achieving the important goals of the clinical encounter. These goals include the following:[2,3,4]
Establishing trust and rapport.
Gathering information from the patient and the patient's family...
This summary is reviewed regularly and updated as necessary by the PDQ Cancer Genetics Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Board members review recently published articles each month to determine whether an article should:
be discussed at a meeting,
be cited with text, or
replace or update an existing article that is already cited.
Changes to the summaries are made through a consensus process in which Board members evaluate the strength of the evidence in the published articles and determine how the article should be included in the summary.
The lead reviewers for Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment and Counseling are:
Kathleen A. Calzone, PhD, RN, APNG, FAAN (National Cancer Institute)
Donald W. Hadley, MS, CGC (National Human Genome Research Institute)
Jennifer Lynn Hay, PhD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)
Suzanne M. O'Neill, MS, PhD, CGC (Northwestern University)
Susan K. Peterson, PhD, MPH (University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center)
Susan T. Vadaparampil, PhD, MPH (H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute)
Catharine Wang, PhD, MSc (Boston University School of Public Health)
Any comments or questions about the summary content should be submitted to Cancer.gov through the Web site's Contact Form. Do not contact the individual Board Members with questions or comments about the summaries. Board members will not respond to individual inquiries.
Levels of Evidence
Some of the reference citations in this summary are accompanied by a level-of-evidence designation. These designations are intended to help readers assess the strength of the evidence supporting the use of specific interventions or approaches. The PDQ Cancer Genetics Editorial Board uses a formal evidence ranking system in developing its level-of-evidence designations.