News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Lower threshold means more women will qualify for BRCA test

Lower threshold means more Kiwi women will qualify for BRCA test

The NZ Breast Cancer Foundation congratulates Genetic Health Service NZ on its decision to lower the threshold for BRCA testing to patients with an estimated 10% chance of having a BRCA gene mutation.

Until now, NZ has tested at the 20% threshold, lagging behind the recent shift to the 10% threshold in the UK and Australia. The BRCA mutation greatly increases a woman’s risk of breast or ovarian cancer, and has also been linked to pancreatic and other cancers. Depending on individual and family factors, women with the mutation have a 40-90% chance of developing breast cancer. Angelina Jolie was reportedly told her BRCA1 mutation gave her a 90% chance.

“The lower threshold will make genetic testing available to families who have previously missed out, despite being at significant risk of having the BRCA mutation,” said Dr Reena Ramsaroop, chair of the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation’s medical advisory committee.

While it will undoubtedly cost more to test at the lower threshold, a study undertaken by the NHS in the UK found that the benefits in terms of preventative treatment and better monitoring of at-risk patients made testing cost-efficient at both a 10% and 5% threshold.

“It’s likely that the same cost-efficiencies would apply here in the long term,” said Dr Ramsaroop, “and in the meantime, more women will be accurately informed of their risk, and better able to make decisions on the best course of action for them and their families.” Dr Ramsaroop emphasised that counselling will remain an essential part of the testing service.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Wellington Rugby Zeroes: Sevens To Move To Hamilton

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester: “The Sevens has been a big part of recent Wellington history but it was time for the event to move on… Wellingtonians have been voting with their feet in the last few years and we’ve seen the result in dwindling crowd numbers and lower ticket sales.” More>>

ALSO:

Matafeo & Dravid: The Billy T And Fred Award Winners For 2017

At the final show of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co. the Festival came to a close after 115 shows in Auckland and 68 shows in Wellington. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: What’s Fair? Tax and Fairness

This is an excellent and timely book, since apart from general statements about increasing or mostly reducing tax, there has been very little comment or debate as to whether we should pay tax at all and how much tax should each of us pay. More>>

Ockham Awards: Globally Lauded Novelist Wins NZ’s Biggest Fiction Prize

Internationally renowned Ngāruawāhia resident Catherine Chidgey has won New Zealand’s richest writing award, the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, for her novel The Wish Child. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland