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Karen E. Hurley

Professional Background

Educational Background

A.B. in Psychology, Bryn Mawr College
PhD. in Clinical Psychology, Temple University
Clinical Internship, University of Medicine & Dentistry-Newark
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Behavioral Oncology, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

Scholarly Interests

My main research and clinical interest is psychosocial issues in hereditary cancer risk.  Additional interests include: psycho-oncology, medical decision-making, health behavior theory, coping with stress and trauma, developmental theory, techniques in clinical interviewing,and existential psychotherapy.

Selected Publications

1.      Hurley K, Rubin L, Werner-Lin A, Sagi M, Kemel Y, Stern R, Phillips A, Cholst I, Kauff N, Offit K. Incorporating information about pre-implantation genetic diagnosis into discussions about testing and risk-management for BRCA1/2 mutations:  A qualitative study of patient preferences.  Cancer 2012; Jun 26. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27695. [Epub ahead of print].

 2.      Roussi P, Sherman K, Miller S, Hurley K, Daly M, Godwin A, Buzaglo J, Wen K.  Identification of cognitive profiles among women considering BRCA1/2 testing through the utilisation of cluster analytic techniques.  Psychol Health 2011;26:1327-43.

 3.      DuHamel K, Mosher C, Winkel G, Labay L, Rini C, Meschian Y, Austin J, Greene P, Lawsin C, Rusiewicz A, Grosskreutz C, Isola L, Moskowitz C, Papadopoulos E, Rowley S, Scigliano E, Burkhalter J, Hurley K, Redd W.  Randomized clinical trial of telephone-administered cognitive-behavioral therapy to reduce PTSD and distress symptoms after hemopoietic stem cell transplant.  J Clin Oncol 2010;28:3754-61

 4.      McLaughlin S, Wright MJ, Morris K, Sampson M, Brockway J, Hurley K, Reidel E, Van Zee K. Lymphedema in 936 women with breast cancer 5 years after sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary dissection II:  Patient perceptions and precautionary behaviors.  J Clin Oncol 2008;26:5220-26.

 5.      Offit K, Sagi M, Hurley KE.  Preimplantation genetic diagnosis for cancer syndromes: A new challenge for preventive medicine.  JAMA. 2006 Dec 13;296(22):2727-30.

 6.      Miller SM, Shoda Y, Hurley K. Applying cognitive-social theory to health-protective behavior:  Breast self-examination in cancer screening.  Psychol Bull 1996; 119:70-94.


biographical information

I am a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in hereditary cancer risk. I spent eight years on faculty at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center providing services for high risk patients and conducting NCI-funded research on patient decision-making about prophylactic surgery and other psychosocial issues relevant to familial cancer.  I am now in private practice in New York City, with adjunct faculty appointments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Teacher’s College-Columbia University.  I have provided psychotherapy and consultation to over 375 individuals, couples, and families with BRCA1/2, hereditary breast/ovarian cancer, Lynch syndrome, and other forms of hereditary cancer.  I have conducted numerous professional education seminars and patient workshops for organizations such as the American Psycho-Oncology Society, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Bright Pink, and the Young Survivor Coalition.  I am a past or current member of several national advisory boards, including FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Bright Pink, the Cancer Support Community’s Breast Cancer M.A.P. Project, the City of Hope Cancer Genetics Career Development Program, Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women, and the National Cancer Institute’s PDQ Cancer Genetics Editorial Advisory Board.

useful web sites

Support for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer risk: 
FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered):
Bright Pink: