Measuring Public Perception About Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Research

Genetic testing to predict the likelihood of developing a hereditary cancer can help save millions of lives each year. This year’s survey shows significant work is still needed to educate the public about the important role genetic testing plays in both prevention and treatment of cancer as evidenced by the low number of individuals who have undergone genetic testing. In addition, the survey uncovered widespread concerns about the impact genetic testing could have on insurability and employment.

Learn more about the survey


Key Findings


are concerned the results would impact employment opportunities


are concerned the results would adversely impact insurability


Would be likely to seek aggressive preventative treatment if they had a family history of cancer


Would be most comfortable sharing their genetic information with a medical center associated with a university or a dedicated cancer hospital


Would be willing to undergo genetic testing once diagnosed with cancer, if it could be used to help determine the most effective course of treatment


Would be likely to follow recommended screenings if they had a family history of cancer


Would be willing to provide scientists with their genetic information for research purposes


Have undergone a genetic test for cancer

About the Poll

The online poll was conducted in October 2013 for the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute by Harris Interactive. The poll surveyed 1,202 men and women nationwide between the ages of 25-70 with either commercial or government insurance.

For more information, contact Linda Aagard at or 801-587-7639

The Scope

Genetic Testing For Cancer: Your Questions Answered

If you have a family history of cancer, you may have considered genetic testing to see if you actually have the mutation that causes the disease... Listen