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Received genetic counseling about test for cancer risk

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GENCOUNS indicates whether the sample adult respondent received genetic counseling for cancer risk.


The survey form directed interviewers to read if necessary, "By genetic counseling, I mean a thorough discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of testing that includes an explanation of what the test can and cannot tell you."

GENCOUNS was initially included in a section of the 2000 Cancer Control Module dedicated to questions on genetic testing. Interviewers began this part of the survey by reading the following statement:

The following questions refer to "genetic testing for cancer risk." That is, testing your blood to see if you carry genes that may predict a greater chance of developing cancer at some point in your life. This does NOT include tests to determine if you have cancer now.

The 2000 Field Representative's Manual defines genetic testing as:

A blood test that assesses if the person has genes that predict a greater chance of developing cancer at some point in the lifespan. It does not include any of the tests that help determine if the person had cancer in the past, or has it now.


Changes in the universe limit the comparability of this variable. In 2000, this question was asked only of sample adults who had been tested for their genetic risk of cancer. In 2015, this variable was asked of all sample adults.


  • 2000: Sample adults age 18+ who have had genetic testing for cancer risk.
  • 2015: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2000, 2015