Doctors Want Mass Testing For BCRA Gene To Prevent Cancers

Angelina Jolie

by Georgia Aspinall |

Doctors at Queen Mary University of London have stated that all women should be tested for the BRCA Cancer gene regardless of their risk. Currently, only women who have a history of cancer in the family are tested. The team has advised that testing all women would prevent cancers, save lives and save the public health service money.

Published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute, the new study has estimated that testing all women over 30 in the UK would prevent 64,500 breast cancers, 17,500 ovarian cancers and possibly save 12,300 lives.

This would involve screening 27 million women for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, otherwise known as the Angelina Jolie gene after she famously campaigned for greater awareness of the mutation. The mutated genes impair the body’s ability to repair damage to DNA in cells. Currently, women have a 2% chance of getting ovarian cancer, while with the BRCA mutation this risk increases to between 10% and 60%. The figures are even higher for breast cancer, which women have a 12.5% risk of developing on average, increasing to 45% to 90% with the BRCA mutation.

This comes despite previous findings, by The Lancet Oncology, that young women with the BRCA gene are no less likely to survive cancer than other women without the gene. The study showed that having a double mastectomy post BRCA diagnosis did not improve survival over 10 years. It has given new hope to women with the gene, that they have more time than previously thought to find the best course of treatment.

As a result, the idea of mass testing may be less daunting than before the Lancet Oncology research was found, as if rolled out women who tested positive would have a longer course of time to decide the best way to reduce the risk of Cancer.

If tested positive the women would be monitored more closely for cancer, reducing the risk of it developing in the future. However, the study has outlined challenges to rolling out testing nationwide.

One main concern is how to offer counselling following a positive test, plus the logistics of testing so many women. However, Dr. Ranjit Manchanda – one of the researchers - maintains that it would be a positive step forward in treating cancer. She told the BBC:

‘It [would] prevent many more cancers and save many more lives.

‘But this is the first step in the process. We can't offer it immediately in the general population. We still need to understand how to deliver it.’

The UK’s National Screening Committee said it would look at the findings ‘with interest’.

Click through to see the best beauty buys for Breast Cancer Awareness month...

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The Best Beauty Buys For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Beauty Buys For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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These handy little capsules are a 2-month supply of antioxidant-rich day and night facial oils to help to improve the visible signs of ageing whilst breaking down skin-clogging toxins. The morning capsule helps nourish and soften skin with Rose Absolute, while the evening capsule is infused with soothing Lavender to help repair and protect skin overnight. £10 of the retail purchase price will go to Breast Cancer Now, but regardless of sales, ELEMIS has pledged to donate a minimum of £33,000 to Breast Cancer Now to take the stand against cancer.

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The newest member of the Trinny tribe, and in turn the latest Lip2Cheek shade, is Sherin, and 10% of every sale of the Lip2Cheek shade (and others across the range) will be donated to Sherin's chosen charity, Breast Cancer Now, who supported her on her own personal journey. Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Friday 1st October – Sunday 31st October), Trinny London will also be offering one-to-one virtual appointments to those receiving cancer treatment, with the aim of sharing the best products, tips and tricks as their skin adapts to treatment – whether it's increased sensitivity, redness or sparse brows.

Beauty Buys For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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For another year, GHD are campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of self-checking, and are supporting breast cancer charities with their Take Control Now collection, including the GHD gold hair straightener in limited edition rose pink. Expect the brands salon quality, sleek results from with two next-generation heat sensor plates, without extreme heat.

Beauty Buys For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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Carolina Herrera have launched not one product, but an entire range, 'A Touch of Love' for Pink October, a new initiative to help support and raise awareness around breast cancer around the world. 10% of the proceeds from the edit (including fragrances and makeup refills) will go to the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC), which offers free services for patients and families affected by cancer.

Beauty Buys For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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This year Scientia are launching an exclusive new product in partnership with the Pink Ribbon Foundation, revamped with Limited Edition pink packaging and a special kind of Zinc Oxide to make the formula pink too. The blemish paste not only reduces redness but works to prevent budding blemishes too. But its only available for a limited time, and with 100% of proceeds going to the charity, there's no better reason not to snap this up now.

Beauty Buys For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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With 10% of profits going to Breast Cancer Now, this relaxing lavender and amber candle is the ultimate in self gifting, creating a 'sensual' and relaxing atmosphere for you to enjoy, and helping to contribute towards cancer research and care.

Beauty Buys For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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Elemental Herbology has partnered with The Pink Ribbon Foundation to create a Limited Edition gift collection, with £5 from each Calm & Soothe Collection kit sold, helping to relieve the needs of people who are suffering from or have been affected by breast cancer. Each gift set contains a Breast Self-Check Guide, Antioxidant Hydration Mist, Neroli & Rose Damask Body Cream and Aromatherapy Candle, designed to calm the mind and soothe the skin with with a gentle blend of rose damask, neroli and chamomile.

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This October, haircare brand KEVIN.MURPHY are standing up to Breast Cancer with their MORE THAN PINK kit. Including the ultra voluminsing Plumping Wash, Plumping Rinse, and Session Spray Flex, for every kit sold, KEVIN.MURPHY will donate £1 to CoppaFeel!,

READ MORE: Meet The Woman Living With Breast Cancer

READ MORE: Why You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer

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