Lack of Genetic Testing in Ovarian Cancer Due to Slow Changes in Healthcare, Writer Says

Lack of Genetic Testing in Ovarian Cancer Due to Slow Changes in Healthcare, Writer Says
A blog post by Emma Smith at Cancer Research UK asks why all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer aren't being genetically tested for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes — a simple procedure that could optimize treatment and prevent cancer in family members. The post, titled “All women with ovarian cancer should be offered genetic testing – so why aren’t they?” finds plenty of arguments in favor of testing women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but not nearly as many reasons why genetic tests still aren't part of routine testing at many cancer clinics. Although mutations in the two BRCA genes are mainly linked to breast cancer, they also ramp up the risk for ovarian and uterus cancer. The genes are normally involved in repairing damaged DNA, and when they don’t work, mutations leading to cancer can easily accumulate. Although these mutations also make cancers more sensitive to chemotherapy, many tumors develop a resistance to treatment over time. Fortunately, a group of drugs called PARP inhibitors work well in these types of cancers. Smith points out that last year, England's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended the PARP inhibitor Lynparza (olaparib) as a treatment for w
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Magdalena holds an MSc in Pharmaceutical Bioscience and an interdisciplinary PhD merging the fields of psychiatry, immunology and neuropharmacology. Her previous research focused on metabolic and immunologic changes in psychotic disorders. She is now focusing on science writing, allowing her to culture her passion for medical science and human health.

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