May 25, 2017 – Genetics and Sex


Anchor lead: Are men or women more likely to know about and utilize genetic testing? Elizabeth Tracey reports

What do the responses of men and women with cancer to Angelina Jolie’s story of genetic testing and subsequent choices teach us? Joann Bodurtha, a professor of genetics at Johns Hopkins, says there were sex differences.

Bodurtha: It did lead us to think about whether or not we need some more men out there telling their public stories about genetic testing. Clearly there is an uptake in direct to consumer genetic testing around ancestry, around paternity, legal issues. How we move forward I think on this is to recognize that there may be some tailoring that needs to be done around what I’ll call precision communication with regard to female and male stories, but overall there does need to be better understanding and literacy about genetic testing. :30

Bodurtha asserts that cancer is a genetic disease, and having testing may inform other family members about their possible risks and need for vigilance with regard to screening and exposures. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.