‘Genetic Testing must be broadened to help cancer sufferers’ – Ritchie

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Monday, December 1st, 2014
Community, Politics
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has highlighted research released today which shows the importance of genetic testing for gynaecological cancers. Speaking to Newry Times, Ritchie stated, “Women carrying the BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation have a much increased chance of being diagnosed with ovarian or breast cancer and genetic testing can allow them to make better informed choices regarding screening or preventative surgery. “The new Genetic Cancer Prediction through Population Screening (GCaPPS) study, funded by the Eve Appeal, shows the clear need to broaden genetic testing, as it reveals that the current procedure based on family history misses half the people who are at risk. “This study, based on the Ashkenazi Jewish community, showed that 56% of women with the BRCA mutation were not picked up by the family-based testing protocol. “It is so important that women have all the information possible when they make huge decisions that will affect their own life and their whole family. Ritchie added, “I secured a Westminster debate on this subject last month to highlight the importance of a wider testing regime and this evidence reinforces the need to keep fighting for women’s health rights.”

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