'Genetic screening can cut deaths from ovarian cancer'
It is now possible to predict our genetic predisposition to many
conditions. A recent Harvard study examined gene mutations in
breast cancer cells that were responsible for a lack of response to
anthracycline chemotherapy. This could pave the way for tailor-made
treatments for cancer sufferers.
It is less clear, however, whether we should advocate diagnostic
genetic testing in healthy people, unless they are at high risk.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) has
recommended genetic testing for conditions such as breast cancer,
where the lifetime risk is one in three or higher, based on family
history of breast and ovarian cancers. On average, the lifetime
risk is one in nine.
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