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Should all women get BRCA genetic testing as part of ‘routine medical care’? Key panel says ‘no’

| | February 22, 2019

The GLP curated this excerpt as part of a daily selection of biotechnology-related news, opinion and analysis.

Primary care providers should screen women for personal, family and/or ethnic history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer to decide who should undergo genetic counseling for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended [February 19]. The mutations increase a woman’s cancer risk.

The draft guidance, which is open to a month of public comment, is likely to stir a simmering medical debate over how widely genetic testing should be used to screen women for the BRCA mutations.

Geneticist Mary-Claire King, who discovered the BRCA mutations and their link to breast cancer risk in 1990, said she’d like every woman to be offered complete sequencing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 as part of routine medical care.

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[Genetic testing] enables those women to take steps to reduce their risk, including undergoing enhanced or additional screening, chemoprevention and risk-reducing surgeries.

“All women, regardless of personal or family history of cancer, should be offered complete sequencing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 as part of routine medical care at about age 30 or at their current age if they are already older,” [King] said.

Read full, original post: New recommendations say not all women need genetic testing for cancer. Critics say it could cost lives

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