Ge­netic test­ing for women

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

WOMEN with a fam­ily his­tory of breast and ovar­ian cancer will soon be able to un­dergo free ge­netic tests to see if they are at risk of de­vel­op­ing the po­ten­tially deadly dis­eases.

The tests to see if pa­tients have in­her­ited ge­netic mu­ta­tions linked to breast and ovar­ian can­cers will be listed on the Medi­care Ben­e­fits Sched­ule from Novem­ber 1. The tests also will pro­vide women and their fam­i­lies an es­ti­mate of their rel­a­tive risk of de­vel­op­ing a new pri­mary cancer.

The Royal Col­lege of Pathol­o­gists of Aus­trala­sia’s ge­net­ics ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee chair Dr Melody Caramins says mak­ing the tests free marks a “huge mile­stone” and will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove the lives of many Aus­tralians.

“If an in­di­vid­ual is a car­rier of a BRCA mu­ta­tion, they will have ad­di­tional treat­ments avail­able to them,” Dr Caramins said in a state­ment.

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