Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and other cancers, and are more common among women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer undergo genetic testing to see if they carry these genes or others which signal an increased risk of developing another cancer, but the optimal timing of genetic testing is not yet known.
Genetic testing may be done soon after diagnosis (before surgery), or it may be done after surgery. Researchers in this study want to determine if Ashkenazi Jewish women prefer genetic testing before or after breast cancer surgery, and how they feel about their choice later on, after some time has passed. Women may pursue genetic testing or not, and are surveyed at multiple points throughout the study about their feelings and choices.