Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Due to the increasing incidence of cancer diagnoses and lack of validated screenings for most types of cancer, cancer researchers continue to look for ways to improve cancer screening particularly for cancers that are difficult to detect early. One early detection technology being researched is blood-based testing looking for the presence of DNA from tumor cells, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). With any new cancer screening test there is a need to understand how participants respond, socially and psychologically, to abnormal results. Participants in Geisinger’s DETECT study of a ctDNA test, CancerSEEK, who received positive ctDNA blood test results and opted to undergo a PET-CT scan, were interviewed to assess psychosocial outcomes of true positive and false positive blood test results. Qualitative data analysis of interviews of participants with true positive and false positive results using Atlas.ti identified 16 major themes. Results of the qualitative analysis revealed some differences between the negative and positive PET-CT groups. However, most participants, in both groups, reported a positive experience with the DETECT study and would recommend it to others. Results of the study suggest that the psychosocial outcomes associated with ctDNA-based cancer screening tests should continue to be explored in-depth to provide sufficient evidence for future usage.