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Darcy Thull provides an overview of the causes of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, the role of a genetic counselor, and the importance of family history. Early detection and prevention strategies are also discussed.

Educational objectives:

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Identify features of a hereditary cancer predisposition
  • Define autosomal dominant inheritance and reduced penetrance
  • Recognize the implications of genetic testing with regard to cancer risks for the patient and family members

Reading Resources:

  1. Antoniou A et al. (2003).  Am J Hum Genet 72(5): 1117-1130.
  2. Breast Cancer Linkage Consortium (1999).  JNCI 91(15): 1310-1316.
  3. Chen S and Parmigiani G. (2007).  JCO 25(11): 1329-1333.
  4. Domchek SM et al. (2003).  JCO 21(4): 593-601.
  6. King MC et al. (2003).  Science 302: 643-646.
  7. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology ( Genetic Familial High Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian.
  8. Thompson DL et al. (2002).  JNCI 94(18): 1358-65.
  9. US Preventative Services Task Force. (2005).  Ann Intern Med  143(5): 355-361.


Darcy Thull has no relevant relationships with any entities producing healthcare goods or services.

Accreditation Statement:

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Other health care professionals are awarded (0.05) continuing education units (CEU) which are equivalent to 0.5 contact hours.

For your credit transcript, please access our website 4 weeks post-completion at and follow the link to the Credit Transcript page. If you do not provide the last 5 digits of your SSN on the next page you will not be able to access a CME credit transcript. Providing your SSN is voluntary.

Release Date: 5/3/2012 | Last Modified On: 5/3/2012 | Expires: 5/2/2013

This course has been expired.