In response to this public health concern, the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created Know:BRCA as part of a larger education initiative. The initiative aims to build awareness about how BRCA gene mutations affect risk for breast and ovarian cancer. It was authorized by the Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act, section 10413 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148). The EARLY Act authorizes CDC to develop initiatives to increase knowledge of breast health and breast cancer among women, particularly among those under age 40 and those at higher risk for developing the disease.
Know:BRCA is an interactive online tool that collects a detailed personal and family history of breast and ovarian cancer. It uses the BRCAPRO model to analyze family history and inform young women if their family history is associated with increased risk for a BRCA gene mutation. These results can then be printed or shared securely with their healthcare providers. Know:BRCA is fully HIPAA compliant and results can be downloaded directly into electronic medical records. With this vital information, young women and providers can work together to decide next steps, which may include: genetic counseling and testing, screening, and other steps to reduce risk.
The consumer website includes information specifically designed for young women ages 18-44. It aims to educate young women about their risk for BRCA gene mutations and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) and the evidence-based actions they can take to reduce their risk. The provider website, www.KnowBRCA.org/provider aims to educate medical providers on cancer genomics, clinical guidelines for BRCA risk assessment and referral, and how to use Know:BRCA to enhance their practice.