Monday, February 8, 2016

Just because, doesn't mean 'right this second'

When you get medical, or any other kind of, bad news, the first reaction is "FIX IT NOW BEFORE I DIE!!!!". You then start making decisions as you learn about your choices. And proceed to get your life back.

But.... What if the news is wrong or has been misinterpreted? Then what?

This is especially true now with BRCA and other gene testing advances.

"In a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the Peter Mac team has demonstrated that some genetic tests for breast cancer may be misinterpreted, potentially misinforming the affected families and risking unnecessary preventive treatments.

“It is now possible to screen a large number of genes at the same time – known as panel testing – at a fraction of the cost previously required to sequence just one cancer-causing gene such as BRCA1,” according to Professor Ian Campbell, Head of Peter Mac’s Genetic Cancer Research Laboratory.

“Understandably, this has increased demand for such tests amongst health care providers and patients concerned about their family history.

“However, while the increased risk of breast cancer associated with some genetic mutations is proven, for others there is a lack of robust scientific data to suggest preventative treatments are required.”"


There is a fair amount known about the BRCA genes and their impact on a patient for increased risk of breast cancer or other ailments. But not as much for the other genes. So you do not want to start making a lot of decisions right away. You do n't want to treat the information about other mutations the same as BRCA mutations. I guess the message is that you need to educate yourself on what you are being tested for before you make decisions


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