What can you do if you have faulty cancer gene?

  • What can you do if you have faulty cancer gene?

What can you do if you have faulty cancer gene?

"This approach can have important implications given the effective options that are available for ovarian and breast cancer risk management and prevention for women at increased risk".

Compared with those who hadn't used oral contraceptives, those who had used them for 10 years or more had a 34 percent reduced risk for endometrial cancer, with the strongest reductions among women who were smokers or obese at the start of the study.

If she carries the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, her risk of breast cancer increases to between 69 per cent and 72 per cent and her risk of ovarian cancer to between 17 per cent and 44 per cent.

Researchers calculated that if 71% of women took up testing, up to 17,500 ovarian cancers and 64,500 breast cancers could be prevented, and 12,300 lives saved.

When women are diagnosed they can be monitored more closely for cancer and many, like Angelina Jolie, have preventive surgery.

Women tend to be offered testing for the corrupted gene if cancer runs in the family.

A new study published yesterday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that, in comparison with just screening women who are at high risk of carrying breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations, screening the entire population for these mutations will be more cost-effective.

Thanks to advances in technology, these types of genetic tests are a lot cheaper than they used to be, now costing around £175.

Dr Ranjit Manchanda, a consultant gynaecological oncologist and one of the researchers, told the: "It [would] prevent many more cancers and save many more lives".

Professor Diana Eccles, Cancer Research UK's expert on cancer genetics, agreed the study "provides useful insight into the potential cost-effectiveness of genetic testing" but warned we must "tread with caution".

If a close family member (defined as a parent, child or sibling) has been diagnosed with cancer or been found to have a faulty gene, visit your GP to see if you're eligible for genetic testing.

According to an analysis by the team, for both United Kingdom and USA health systems, a novel approach of population testing for multiple genes would be cost-efficient. It's encouraging that the new testing strategy might significantly increase detection rates.

The Hollywood actress had her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed due to the high risk of cancer in her case.

But it's worth bearing in mind that as the first step, it won't be possible to offer the test to the general population immediately.

Despite these limitations, this study provides promising evidence that the new genetic test may help identify more people with breast and ovarian cancer.

Policymakers still need to understand the balance of these benefits with the known harms of population screening, such as the risk of overdiagnosis, false alarms and whether any cases could be missed. A number of other genetic changes also increase risk, albeit to a lesser extent.