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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

MS Human Genetics


Human Genetics Graduate Program


Although rare, pancreatic cancer is a silent killer because of its usual quick lethality shortly after diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is sometimes associated with a hereditary cancer syndrome that may be identified using genetic testing. We conducted a one-time, non-randomized, cross-sectional pilot study using a questionnaire to investigate the potential uptake of genetic testing in patients with pancreatic cancer and what their motivations and attitudes are pertaining to this type of testing. The responses of 18 participants were analyzed by looking for trends throughout the data. 44% of participants had previously received genetic counseling and 38% had already received genetic testing. It was found that patients generally have a positive attitude towards testing and find it beneficial. Patients are mainly driven by the opportunity to find out what caused their cancer and the possibility of understanding the risk of cancer for their family members. Patients also prefer to work with their oncologist throughout the genetic testing process, instead of another health care providers such as a genetic counselor.