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The Importance of Genetic Testing Following a Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer

Peter Levonian, MS
Published: Thursday, Nov 01, 2018



Peter Levonian, MS, senior genetic counselor, Stanford Medicine, discusses the importance of genetic testing following a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Physicians have acknowledged that every patient with a diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer should be seen by a genetic counselor, says Levonian. Experts recommend testing especially for those with nonmucinous epithelial ovarian cancer, though any patient with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be seen for a consultation. The reason for that, says Levonian, is that a significant number of cases are hereditary in nature, even if there is no family history of the disease.

Patients with no family history of ovarian cancer are often hesitant to get genetic testing because they believe there is no precedent for it, explains Levonian. However, he explains that genes that can cause a susceptibility to ovarian cancer can be as easily passed down through paternal lineage as through maternal lineage.


Peter Levonian, MS, senior genetic counselor, Stanford Medicine, discusses the importance of genetic testing following a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Physicians have acknowledged that every patient with a diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer should be seen by a genetic counselor, says Levonian. Experts recommend testing especially for those with nonmucinous epithelial ovarian cancer, though any patient with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be seen for a consultation. The reason for that, says Levonian, is that a significant number of cases are hereditary in nature, even if there is no family history of the disease.

Patients with no family history of ovarian cancer are often hesitant to get genetic testing because they believe there is no precedent for it, explains Levonian. However, he explains that genes that can cause a susceptibility to ovarian cancer can be as easily passed down through paternal lineage as through maternal lineage.

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