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Among these individuals, 5-10% have a hereditary syndrome that can cause them to develop cancer at a much earlier age than typical and have increased risk of developing multiple cancers. Family history can help you identify individuals who would benefit from increased cancer screening or genetic testing. Family history risk assessment and genetic testing are tools that can personalize cancer screening and prevention options for patients at risk of cancer. This program demonstrates and allows you to practice quick, easy approaches to using cancer family history and genetic testing in practice.
After completing this program, you will be able to:
- Collect sufficient family history information (Course 1)
- Analyze a detailed family history (Courses 2 & 3)
- Develop an appropriate evaluation plan based on personal and family history assessment (Course 4)
- Communicate with families in a patient-centered way about genetic information (Courses 1-4)
- Communicate the benefits and limitations of genetic testing to patients (Course 5)
- Evaluate available germline test options for hereditary cancer (Courses 7, 8, & 9)
- Determine appropriateness of breast and colon cancer genetic testing (Courses 8 & 9)
- Choose the best genetic test for the patient (Courses 7, 8, & 9)
- Recognize steps and resources to help in ordering testing (Course 10)
- Interpret genetic testing results (Course 6)
- Communicate the meaning of test results to patients (Course 6)
This program is case-based and addresses skills and knowledge about cancer family history risk assessment and genetic testing. Each individual course addresses a specific skill or topic, such as recognizing red flags and inheritance patterns or interpreting genetic test results. Each course takes approximately 15 minutes and includes the following:
- short video demonstrating a clinical interaction, expert perspective, or genetic testing result,
- practice cases,
- detailed information for additional learning, and
- point-of-care tools
Working through the videos and practice cases, you will practice identifying, evaluating, and managing patients who are at different levels of cancer risk. The program also provides strategies for finding and collaborating with genetic experts, approaches to communicating risk, and tools to use in your practice.
Participants in this program can earn up to a maximum of .25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for each of the available courses.
Participants have access to point of care tools to help integrate information and skills into practice. The tools include:
- Family history assessment
- Accessing genetic services
- Cancer screening factsheet
- Factsheets on hereditary cancer syndromes (Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, lynch syndrome, and familial adenomatous polyposis)
- Inheritance patterns and recurrence risk
- Genetic testing factsheets
Why is family history important?
One out of two men and one out of three women will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Five to ten percent of those individuals have a hereditary cancer syndrome that can cause them to develop cancer at a much earlier age than typical and have increased risk of developing multiple cancers. There is a free, simple genetic "test" that can help you identify individuals who would benefit from increased cancer screening because of their underlying increased risk – family history. This program demonstrates and allows you to practice quick, easy approaches to collecting, recording, and assessing cancer family history information.
Who funded this program?
This program is jointly funded by the Maine Cancer Foundation and The Jackson Laboratory Director's Innovation Fund.
Who wrote and reviewed the content?
The program's content was developed by The Jackson Laboratory Clinical and Continuing Education Program staff. The following individuals reviewed one or more course:
- Abdullah Elias, MD - Shodair Children's Hospital, Department of Medical Genetics
- Greg Feero, MD PhD - Maine General Medical Center; Maine Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency program
- Susan Miesfeldt, MD - Maine Medical Center; Cancer Risk and Prevention Program
- Robin Schwartz, MS, CGC – UCONN Health, Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences
- Mary Lou Woodford, RN, MBA – Cancer1Source
Who developed the video and who are the actors?
The videos in Courses 1 - 4 were shot and edited by The Jackson Laboratory Multimedia Services with consultation from David Fuller of Airstream Pictures. The script was written by The Jackson Laboratory Clinical and Continuing Education Program staff and reviewed internally and externally. The video cast included:
- Doctor: Carl Karush
- Patient (Kelly): Nicole Cardano
- Genetic counselor: Meg Haskell
Expert clinicians and patients in Courses 5 - 10 include:
- Diane Seibert, PhD, ARNP, FAANP, FAAN
- Christine DeGirolamo
- Howard Levy, MD, PhD
How much does the course cost?
The course is free for participants, but does require a short registration process.
I'm a nurse; can I get continuing education credits?
After successful completion of the quiz at the end of each course, any participant can print out the certificate indicating the number of credit hours. You may submit this certificate to your professional organization to obtain credits per the organization policy. We are exploring nursing CE credits for this program.
Who is this
This activity was developed for primary care physicians, advance practice nurses, and physician assistants working with patients with a family history or other risk factors for cancer.