‘BRCA testing essential in tackling ovarian cancer’ – Ritchie

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Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Community, Politics
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has called on the Secretary of State for Health to introduce BRCA testing for ovarian cancer and for the Health Ministers in Wales and Northern Ireland to do the same. ovariancancerHer call comes after Target Ovarian Cancer’s statement that women in Northern Ireland have the worst survival rates in the UK and the worst chance of having access to a clinical trial. Ritchie, a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ovarian Cancer, said, “The inequalities that exist in our health systems are totally unjust and unacceptable. Only 30% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Northern Ireland survive for five years. “Campaigners like the late Una McCrudden worked tirelessly to raise awareness around ovarian cancer but this must be supported by Government through resources to diagnose and treat the disease. “Studies have shown that early diagnosis is key to improving the chances of survival and Northern Ireland is failing on this front. Women in Scotland can access BRCA testing, which is not available to women in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ritchie added, “I have tabled a question to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, asking if he will meet with his counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland to remedy this and to make sure that BRCA testing is available across the UK.”

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