A world first trial by Peter Mac Cancer Centre in Melbourne could soon see women be routinely tested to ascertain their risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Such testing would help detect the disease earlier and increase life expectancy.
Currently, women are screened for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which increase the lifetime risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer up to 85 and 65 per cent respectively, when someone in their family has been diagnosed.
The trial will screen 10,000 healthy women to determine how many carry the gene mutation and determine the number across the population. Depending on the results, screening for the gene mutation could be offered to all women.
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