Delhi hospital launches hereditary cancer test

New Delhi, Aug 5 : With over one million people diagnosed with cancer every year in India, a hospital here has launched a hereditary cancer genetic testing service, an doctor said Monday.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said the service will provide a new frontier in the fight against cancer with a focus on prevention.

The service will be run by trained genetic counselling experts, medical, surgical, paediatric oncologists and cyto-pathologists.

"The experts will inquire about the history of cancer in the family members, identify the presence of other risk factors and provide an estimate of risk of an individual to develop cancer," said I.C. Verma , director, department of genetics, Ganga Ram Hospital.

Verma says risk management and preventive cancer counselling can help families to cope with increased risk for different cancers.

"Those testing positive in the gene test are counselled regarding their risk for developing cancer. Those who are already affected with cancer are made to understand how genetic mutation can affect their future treatment," he said.

The cost varies for genetic testing of different cancers.

About 10 percent of cancers in adults and about 20 percent in children are hereditary.

The importance of genetic testing was highlighted by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, who tested positive for a mutation in the breast cancer gene, and opted for breast removal to prevent development of breast cancer in future.

--IANS (Posted on 05-08-2013)

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