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Family Centered Approaches to Promoting Cascade Screening for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes among African Americans

Research has shown that African Americans are less likely than other racial groups to engage in genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes, which can uncover genetic mutations that increase cancer risk. African Americans also have lower rates of cancer cascade testing, a process for providing genetic counseling and testing for relatives of African Americans who are known carriers of specific cancer-related genetic mutations. As clinical genetic testing becoming increasingly available, it is critically important to design interventions to reach all populations, especially those that have been traditionally underserved. Tailored strategies are particularly useful for increasing intervention access and uptake where health disparities exist. This career development award provides Dr. Ellis the opportunity to develop and test a theory-based, family-tailored intervention to support African American family communication about and engagement in cancer cascade testing. This award focuses on strengthening the investigator’s skills in family-based intervention development and testing, tailored health interventions and messaging, and cancer genetics.

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