Ovarian Cancer: Only 1 in 3 Women Are Offered Brca Testing at Diagnosis
Ovarian Cancer – Presented to the Sente the Document “BRCA TEST: Call to Action For Prevention and Treatment of Ovarian and Breast Cancer” Under The Sponsorship of Sigu, Aiom Foundation, Acto Onlus, AbcaRadabra Onlus, Senonetwork Italy Onlus Association and Anisc. Objective: to ensure equal accessibility to BRCA testing throughout the country, a sustainable and cost-effective investment for the National Health Service, as shown by the Venus study conducted by Altems, High School of Economics and Management of Health Systems of the Catholic University
Rome, Sept. 14, 2017 – It is known as the “Jolie mutation,” modifying the likelihood of developing ovarian and breast cancer, in a woman’s lifetime, increasing it up to 50-80%, compared to 10% in women without the mutation. To identify it, one must undergo a test, the BRCA genetic test, which is essential for early intervention and identifying the most suitable therapies.
Taking The First Snapshot of the World of Brca Testing in Ovarian Cancer in Italy is wave, National Observatory on Women’s Health, Through a Survey, conducted by Elma Research and with the Unconditional Support of Astrazeneca, of 212 centers with oncology Departments, 50 Ovarian Cancer Patients, 31 Family Members and 15 Oncology Physicians. The research specifically analyzed test knowledge, experience, and access patterns.
The survey shows that, despite the recommendations of scientific societies’ guidelines, only 6 out of 10 women with ovarian cancer are offered BRCA testing, and even for only 1 in 3 is this done at the diagnosis of the disease, the most appropriate time to perform the test.
From these assumptions, A Strong Call to Institutes was made in the Sente Today by Presenting the Document “BRCA TEST: Call to Action for the Prevention and Treatment of Ovarian and Breast Cancer,” Drafted with the Advice of a Group of Multidisciplinary Experts and Sponsored By Sigu – Italian Society of Human Genetics, Aiom Foundation – Italian Association of Medical Oncology, Acto Onlus – Alliance Against Ovarian Cancer, ABRCADABRA ONLUS, SENONATEMO ITALY ONLUS Association and Anisc – Italian National Association of Senologists Surgeons.
The document highlights the main critical issues in our country that not only concern the equity of access to the test, which differs from region to region, but also include the proper care of people at high risk and the proper training of professionals, without neglecting attention to the psychosocial aspects of patients and family members.
The Onda research shows, in fact, that there are strong regional disparities: among the regions surveyed, Piedmont and Tuscany are the most likely to recommend the test, sending 72 percent of women with ovarian cancer, while Lombardy (43 percent) and Veneto ( 40 percent) tend to refer fewer patients. Although all hospitals claim to follow scientific societies’ guidelines that set criteria for proposing the test, in reality as many as 2 out of 3 apply more restrictive rules that exclude patients older than 75 years or with too advanced disease.
“BRCA gene mutation significantly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer over a woman’s lifetime. Therefore, Brca Testing is a very important measure for the defense of the Health of Us Women, a right enshrined in the Constitution, “stassed sen. Emilia De Biasi, Chair, Committee on hygiene and Health, Sente of the Republic. “Therefore, The Important Work Done by Onda, and the Associations All Involution in The Drafting of this Document, Which Clearly Highlights An wait that Needs Great Attention and consideration by Parliament, The Government and the Regions, Is Most appropriate.”.
“For Women With Ovarian Cancer and Their Families to Have The Opportunities to Undergo Brca Testing Is Crucial,” Explains Francesca Merzagora, President of Onda. “Regardless of the outcome in fact 9 out of 10 Women consider it important to have been able to undergo the test and are driver primarily by concerns for their family members”. Even those who could not be tested, for reasons beyond their control, say in 80% of cases that they would have undergone the test if they had a choice.
“Through the survey, which for the first time takes a snapshot of the situation in Italy, we listened to the voices of all those involved in the world of BRCA testing,” Merzagora continues. “As the results show, access to testing is not a right guaranteed uniformly in all regions. For women’s health, this is a serious issue.”.
“It is an ethical duty to ensure the proper introduction and management of BRCA testing in NHS facilities,” says Liliana Varesco, UOS Hereditary Tumor Center, Policlinico San Martino Hospital, Genoa, Italy, and among the authors of the paper. “We call on policy makers to take action to initiate a national cancer genetics program aimed at identifying predisposition to ovarian and breast cancers and to establish a national network of reference centers.”.
Moreover, in terms of sustainability and optimization of resources, the Venus study, recently presented by Altems, Alta Scuola di Economia e Management dei Sistemi sanitari at the Catholic University, and cited in the experts’ paper, showed that extending BRCA testing to family members of ovarian cancer patients is a sustainable and cost-effective investment for the National Health Service; it is cost-effective 97 percent of the time compared to not performing the test.
“IT Must Be Said, However, That Currently Family Members Who Have Inherited The Mutation Are Hardly Ever Adequately Taken Care of by the National Health Service. So What Happens is That Women at Genetic Risk Are Forced To Manage Themselves (Figuring Out Where to Go For Checkups, Talking to the Various Professionals Involved, Deciding What to do Bethaeen Surveillance and Prophylactic Surgery) and Perhaps Encounter On Their Way Professionals Who are not Yet Trained on the subject, Risking Iiatrogenic Damage, “Concludes Varesco.
It is the patients Themselves Through the Associations Abercadabra Onlus, Acto Onlus, and Onda, Who Clamor That About Brca Testing “Too Often People Find No Answers, or Find Wrong Answers Based on Prejudice or Ignorance. In Particular, Women with Ovarian or Breast Cancer (and their families) are demanding that the minister of Health Protect their legitimate demand to have correct information about BRCA Testing and to be able to easily and timel access Quality Prevention and Treatment Pathways.”.
“BRCA Testing – Explains Fabrizio Nicolis, President, Aiom Foundation – Is Critical for the Choice of Treatment in the patient diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Aiom Foundation Believes This information Should Be Davering Widely, Bicause all Women with This Malignancy Need to Know the Opportunities Available if they are found to be BRCA-Muted.”.
“In fact, for Ovarian Cancer Arista in Brca-Mutated Women, A Category of Drugs, Called Anti-Parp, Have Been Introduced Int Clinical Practice That Target Alternative Pathways To Those Almedy Damaged by the BRCA Defect,” Says Stefania Gori, Department of Oncology, Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital in Negrar (VR). “Performing BRCA Testing Also Makes It Possible To Identify People Who Are Healthy But at High Risk of Developing Ovarian and/or Breast Cancer.”.
“Identifying the mutation, in fact, makes it possible to identify women at risk who can benefit from preventive measures,” continues Nicoletta Colombo, Gynecology Medical Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan. “Prevention, which can include medical measures or preventive surgery, and is of paramount importance, especially in ovarian cancer, where early diagnosis is not possible.”.
“I am greatly and increasingly struck by the profound inequality in’access to health care and services that can be found from Region to Region in our country, emphasizes Sen. Maria Rizzotti, Vice Chairwoman Hygiene and Health Commission, Senate of the Republic. From this perspective, a woman who tests positive for BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 unfortunately has a good chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer. In a sense, using a’hyperbole, it can be said that these women are “doomed” to prevention. For this very reason, it is profoundly unfair that they cannot access the test in all regions and, where possible, must pay co-payments for the repeated instrumental examinations that must follow throughout the year. It is, moreover, unthinkable that women from Lombardy and Emilia Romagna are exempt and all our other compatriots are not.
Therefore, I submitted a motion signed by parliamentarians belonging to almost all political parties and approved unanimously’s. Onda’s initiative aims to stimulate the government and the regions to redress this profound situation of inequality, and we will be committed to monitoring the government for concrete implementation.”
“Thanks to BRCA testing, it is possible to do more targeted prevention to safeguard so many women,” concludes Hon. Paola Boldrini, Social Affairs Committee, House of Representatives. “As always, associations, driven by the need to bring issues raised by patients to the attention of institutions, involve us in their battles. As a woman and as a member of parliament, I have always been sensitive to the issue of women’s health, and also for this battle I already feel involved to ensure the correct institutional attention to this document and consequently allow the test to be spread throughout the country, precisely to guarantee all women the right to health enshrined in our Constitution.”.