October 15, 1997

Genomic MedicineInternet Resources for Medical Genetics

Author Affiliations

From the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md (Dr Sikorski; e-mail:; and the Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Dr Peters, e-mail:

JAMA. 1997;278(15):1212-1213. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550150008002

After a lecture on genetics, a 24-year-old medical student asks her professor where she can find more information about the genetics of breast and ovarian cancer. The student is concerned because her mother died of ovarian cancer at age 37 and her maternal grandmother died of breast cancer at age 50. She wonders about her risk and whether she should be tested for any of the inherited mutant genes she has learned about in class. She asks the professor if there are any World Wide Web sites offering information on such issues. After obtaining information from 1 site, the student decides that she may be at increased risk for cancer and contacts her personal physician for further guidance.