Using telemedicine to bring genetic counseling to community cancer care
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PHILADELPHIA – Genetic counseling for cancer patients has become standard of care at academic medical centers, but patients cared for at community-based medical practices across the United States may not have access to these resources. Video and phone sessions can close that gap and bring genetic counseling to patients who would not otherwise have the chance to receive it, according to a new study from the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center.

Researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial to determine whether patients at community practices would undergo genetic testing after a remote phone or video counseling session and found 77 percent of patients chose to do so, compared to just six percent in the group of patients that were offered usual care options for genetic testing, such as driving to a center with genetic counselor or having genetic testing with their doctor and without the assistance of a genetics professional. The study’s lead author, Angela R. Bradbury, MD, an assistant professor of Hematology-Oncology, will present the findings at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago (Abstract #6506).

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