Thur 4 July 2013,
Level 4 Espresso
Genetic Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer
Genetic counsellor Alison McEwen discusses her research with New Zealand women at risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Genetic testing is in the media spotlight after Angelina Jolie’s discovery that she carries a BRCA1 gene mutation and her resulting decision to undergo a double mastectomy.
Alison’s studies show that women’s decisions about genetic testing and risk-reducing surgery are influenced by family responsibilities. She has found that many are just ‘getting on with it’ in their approach to life with increased cancer risk.
Genetic testing in New Zealand
In New Zealand, families can request a risk assessment for breast and ovarian cancer through Genetic Health Service NZ. The assessment involves collecting a detailed family cancer history.
Genetic testing for a mutation in genes associated with hereditary cancer may be offered to families that are assessed as high risk and that meet certain other criteria.
Visit the website of Genetic Health Service NZ
About Alison McEwen
Alison McEwen (PhD, FHGSA) is a genetic counsellor who works for Genetic Health Service NZ. She recently completed her PhD through the University of Otago, exploring the experiences of New Zealand women living with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Proudly supported by GNS Science and the Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch.