Genetic counseling and testing for gynecological cancers: Perception of female undergraduates of universities in Ibadan, Nigeria
Introduction: Genetic education and counseling give individuals an opportunity to make informed choices related to risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing for social and medical purposes. We aimed to assess the perception of female undergraduates of universities in Ibadan to genetic counseling and testing (GCT) for gynecological cancers and their willingness to participate in the twin procedure.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross‑sectional study involving consented female students from the two universities within Ibadan metropolis – University of Ibadan and Lead City University, Ibadan. Using a self‑administered, semi‑structured questionnaire, information on their understanding of GCT, perception of implications, and willingness to participate in the procedure were obtained.
Results: There were 943 respondents with mean age of 20.0 ± 3.4 years, 908 (96.3%) had ever heard of cancers, but only 252 (26.7%) provided proper definition. Overall, 484 (51.3%) were aware of GCT although three‑quarters, 712 (75.5%), wished to know their inheritable risk of developing gynecologic cancer. All the respondents were willing to participate in the counseling procedure, but only 815 (86.4%) would be willing to proceed with testing if indicated. Possible surgical intervention reduced willingness to test from 82.3% to 45.7%.
Conclusion: The female undergraduates of universities in Ibadan were willing to partake in GCT provided there are no surgical interventions. There is a need for an increased awareness and encouragement of GCT for at‑risk groups and also in the prevention and/or early detection to reduce the burden of familial gynecologic cancers.
Keywords: Counseling; genetic; gynecologic cancers; testing; university