The Obstetrician–Gynecologist's Role in Risk Assessment

Obstetrician–gynecologists play a crucial role as primary care professionals for women and can determine which patients warrant cancer risk assessment. A hereditary cancer risk assessment is the key to identifying patients and families who may be at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. This assessment should be performed by obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric-gynecologic providers and should be updated regularly.

If a hereditary cancer risk assessment suggests an increased risk of a hereditary cancer syndrome, referral to a specialist in cancer genetics or a health care professional with expertise in genetics is recommended for expanded gathering of family history information, risk assessment, education, and counseling, which may lead to genetic testing. (ACOG Committee Opinion #634, June 2015; reaffirmed 2017)

District II’s grand rounds offer foundational knowledge of cancer genetics and hereditary cancer syndromes and help to answer the following questions:

  • What is the obstetrician–gynecologists’s role in risk assessment?
  • Who gets referred to a genetics specialist?
  • How do you make a referral?
  • What happens in cancer genetics consultations and counseling?
  • What happens in genetic test selection and result interpretation?
  • What are the long-term clinical management issues?

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View the slide deck | Read the speaker notes

The learning objectives for this slide deck are:

  • To provide an overview of relevant hereditary cancer syndromes
  • To encourage ob-gyns to obtain a thorough family history
  • To educate ob-gyns about available risk assessment strategies for the detection of patients at risk for hereditary cancer syndromes as set forth in current guidelines
  • To inform ob-gyns about the spectrum of available genetic tests, the content of genetics consultations, and the meaning and implications of genetic test results
  • To guide ob-gyns about when to refer to a genetics professional, gynecologic oncologist, and/or other specialists as needed