F. Gauna, S. Carof, E. Mouret-Fourme, I. Coupier, V. Mari, J. Moretta-Serra, J. Mancini, C. Noguès, A. D. Bouhnik
Understanding how gender norms affect parents' communication of genetic and cancer risk information to their children can enable healthcare professionals to better facilitate cascade genetic testing. We conducted a qualitative study with semi-structured interviews to determine social factors associated with parents carrying the BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants who communicated cancer prevention practices to their children. Thirty adult carriers (23 women, 7 men) participated in the interviews. All had at least one child aged over 8 years old. Interview topics included their discovery of the variants, their relationship to their body and to the risk of cancer, as well as disclosure to and subsequent communication with their children after testing positive for BRCA1/2. The interviews were analyzed qualitatively, and the major themes identified were identified and compared. We described the roles played by the BRCA1/2 carriers and their partners in communicating cancer prevention practices to their children, from how they managed their own risk of cancer after testing positive, to how they disclosed the risks linked to these pathogenic variants to their children. We also described their involvement in the process of their children going for professional genetic consultation. Gender norms lead women to be more attentive than men to their own health and that of their loved ones. In the context of the transmission of genetic information to children, gender differences in behavior are reinforced by perceptions of the risks of BRCA1/2 variants and women's related health management practices. Cancer prevention is shaped by complex links between gender norms and health management practices.
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