Gene Test Will Narrow Down Breast Cancer Risks, Scientists Say

Faith Castro
October 10, 2017

In India, over 150,000 women are newly diagnosed with breast cancer every year; a staggering number that has overtaken cervical cancer to become the most common cancer affecting women. "That's the difference between mastectomy, lumpectomy, the difference between chemotherapy or no chemotherapy".

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month Hillside is hosting an awareness raising day, highlighting how to spot breast cancer and focusing on the support you and your loved ones can get to help you at this hard time.

Women between 40 and 45 years, and 60 and 65 years are reported to be suffering from breast cancer.

"It worries many women I think", said Missoula resident Camill Severti. The test will initially be available for patients having BRCA1 and 2 gene mutations, with a family history of breast cancer.

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Becky Measures, who had a mastectomy at Manchester's Wythenshawe Hospital, said: 'When they find that they have the BRCA1/2 gene many women fear that they have to take action immediately.

Numerous women who had originally been classified by doctors as being in the high-risk category were subsequently reclassified to a lower risk category - where preventative breast-removal surgery is not recommended. With regular screening, breast cancer is more likely to be detected at an earlier stage when treatment may be most successful.

The test examines 18 genetic variants able to affect the chances of getting breast cancer, and clinicians say that being able to narrow down a woman's individual risk will mean they are better informed to decide on surgery. That is the figure estimated to all women with a BRCA gene mutation. Dr Vineeta Goel, associate director and head radiation oncology said that it is extremely important to raise awareness about avoidable cancer risks and the importance of early detection. "Patients need to understand how their choices may influence their employment, and patients need assistance to help ensure their treatment choices are truly shared decisions that weigh the potential employment impact of given treatment options".

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