Dr. Willmott on the Importance of Genetic Testing in Ovarian Cancer

Lyndsay Willmott, MD, discusses the importance of genetic testing in ovarian cancer.

Lyndsay Willmott, MD, gynecologic oncologist, Arizona Oncology, discusses the importance of genetic testing in ovarian cancer.

When treating patients with ovarian cancer, genetic testing is one of the easiest tools to incorporate into clinical practice to help guide treatment decisions, according to Willmott. However, because genetic counselors are scarce in some areas, it is important to be an informed advocate for genetic testing so that its use is initiated in the frontline, Willmott says. Additionally, educating patients on the importance of genetic testing can serve to overcome hesitancy and empower them with respect to treatment decisions, Willmott adds.

Moreover, it has been shown that patients with a BRCA mutation may perform better with certain agents, according to Willmott. Although this might not be universal, it is important to counsel patients about the link between mutational status and their available treatment options, Willmott says. Sharing this information with patients will help them to manage expectations regarding their treatment journey and empower them through the clinical decisions that are being made, Willmott concludes.