Page 1. The standard of care

The standard of care in cancer genetics testing includes:
  • Comprehensive risk evaluation
  • A thorough discussion of the implications of test results, i.e., cancer risk management options
  • Pre- and post-test counseling and follow-up
(Tranin, Masny, & Jenkins, 2003)

As noted by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), "Ethical principles of doing good, doing no harm, respect for autonomy, and justice form the ethical foundation of cancer risk testing and counseling services" (ONS, 2009).

Additionally, as physicians discuss the options for genetic testing and follow-up on the results of genetic tests, they should be mindful of their patients' cultural beliefs, and beliefs about health care in general. We'll consider this in more detail in the Web pages which follow.

Cancer Predisposition Genetic Testing and Risk Assessment, Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), Retrieved July 2010,

Tranin, A.S., Masny, A., & Jenkins, J. (Eds.). (2003). Genetics in oncology practice: Cancer risk assessment. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.