Genetic testing for women
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.