Clinicians need appropriate education and support in keeping pace with the genomics revolution
Media headlines stating that genetic testing for patients with a high risk of breast and ovarian cancer are now free are somewhat misleading. Clinical genetic testing for heritable, germline mutations (pathogenic variants) in two major genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) that are associated with a high risk of breast and ovarian cancer came into Australian practice in the mid-1990s, and were offered free of charge (but not under Medicare) to appropriate patients in public clinics. Until now, testing, which has proven clinical utility,1 has mostly been offered through a network of family cancer clinics and genetics services that provide expert genetic counselling and testing of these genes in the context of familial breast and ovarian cancer.
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