Previvors’ Information Needs Regarding Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk

Research Article Published in the journal Patient Education & Counseling

by Marleah Dean Kruzel, PhD

September 27, 2017

Happy National Previvor Day! Coined by the non-profit organization Facing Our Risk of Empowered (FORCE), cancer previvors are “individuals who are survivors of a predisposition to cancer but who haven’t had the disease.” Cancer previvors may include individuals who test positive for a hereditary mutation (i.e., BRCA), who have a family history of hereditary cancer, or some other predisposing factor.

To celebrate National Previvor Day during 2017 Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week, I wanted to share a recent article I published in the journal Patient Education & Counseling, which examines previvors’ information needs regarding hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk. Examining previvors’ information needs is important because they have different information needs than cancer patients and cancer survivors.

Interviews with 25 previvors revealed the information needs of previvors are connected to the stage in their healthcare journey. Specifically, four information needs were identified: (1) pre-testing, (2) post-testing, (3) pre-management, and (4) post-management. Moreover, previvors also turn to several different informational sources when making preventive health decisions.

To learn more about this research study, check out the following infographic:

Please Consider…

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Dr. Marleah Dean Kruzel (PhD, Texas A&M University) is an Assistant Professor in Health Communication at the University of South Florida. She studies patient-provider and family communication about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. A BRCA2-positive patient herself, Marleah is committed to translating her research into practice, which is why she volunteers for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) and maintains a blog called “The Patient and The Professor.” For more information, visit her website: You can also follow her Twitter.