Dr. Mai on Barriers of Genetic Testing in CRC

January 13, 2021
Phulong L. Mai, MD

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>UPMC Hillman Cancer Center</b>

Phuong L. Mai, MD, discusses barriers of genetic testing in colorectal cancer.

Phuong L. Mai, MD, a hematologist/oncologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center, discusses barriers of genetic testing in colorectal cancer (CRC).

In CRC, access to genetic services continues to stand in the way of a more widespread use of genetic testing. Although patients in large cities likely have access to centers that offer genetic testing, patients in rural areas may have to travel 3 or 4 hours to the nearest center, says Mai.

Additionally, physician and patient awareness of the importance of genetic testing remains a challenge, Mai says. Providers may not recognize when to refer patients to genetic services, and patients may become skeptical when they are recommended for genetic testing.

Finally, the financial toxicity associated with genetic testing may be a barrier for some patients as their insurance may not cover the potentially prohibitive cost of testing, concludes Mai.

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