Streaming issues? Report here
volume_up
volume_mute

Home
arrow_forward
Lifestyle

Genetic testing breakthrough in fight against breast cancer

15 January 2020 1:17 PM
Tags:
Cancer Association of South Africa Cansa
Breast cancer
CANSA
breast cancer awareness
genetic testing
A new study has assessed more genetic mutations that help identify those with an increased risk of contracting breast cancer.

1 in 27 women is at risk for breast cancer and it is leading cancer affecting women in South Africa, according to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa).

University of Cambridge scientists have made a breakthrough, identifying 352 genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer, in a study of 2000 people.

Health specialist at Cansa professor Michael Herbst discusses the findings with Nickolaus Bauer on The Midday Report.

Just how important is this study?

Herbst says recent research has increased the understanding of the genetic structure linked to cancer.

New scientific evidence that comes up practically every day emphasises more and more that is really the mutations of genes - and it depends which gene is mutated - that causes the different types of cancer.

Professor Michael Herbst, Head of Health - Cansa

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations in relation to breast cancer have been understood for a while, he says.

He cites the example of actress Angelina Jolie who had genetic familial BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations leading to her decision to have a bi-lateral mastectomy to protect herself from breast cancer.

Now, scientists have gone even further in this new study.

They have identified 352 gene mutations. And this seems like it is not the end of the story yet. There will most probably be more.

Professor Michael Herbst, Head of Health - Cansa

This makes it really possible to identify women who are at greater risk of developing breast cancer. We must also not forget that men can also get breast cancer.

Professor Michael Herbst, Head of Health - Cansa

But how accessible is this genetic testing for the ordinary South African?

Unfortunately, he says these breakthroughs are not filtering down to those in the public healthcare sector.

Genetic testing is very expensive in South Africa.

Professor Michael Herbst, Head of Health - Cansa

Even some medical insurance will not cover these tests, he adds.

Genetic testing can cost anything up to R13,000 per test.

Professor Michael Herbst, Head of Health - Cansa

Women must go for an annual mammogram and a clinical breast examination.

There is nothing as effective as a clinical breast examination to find tiny lumps - especially in women with dense breast tissue. mammograms may not even pick up these tiny lumps.

Professor Michael Herbst, Head of Health - Cansa

Listen to the interview below:


15 January 2020 1:17 PM
Tags:
Cancer Association of South Africa Cansa
Breast cancer
CANSA
breast cancer awareness
genetic testing

More from Lifestyle

feed-kakapo-project-noordhoeked-facebookjpg

Wire whale trash-eater could be rolled out on more Cape beaches

23 January 2020 3:54 PM

Environmental activist Karoline Hanks reports back on the success of the Kakapo Project in Noordhoek and her other initiatives.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Vitality Air

People are buying tinned air for R330 per can. We’re not kidding

23 January 2020 2:32 PM

Vitality Air (from Canada) bottles air in the Swiss Alps then sells it for $23 a can. It’s like The Lorax (Dr Seuss), but real.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

brooks-and-maya-spector-facebookjpg

I'm lucky to have parents who always supported my creativity - Maya Spector

23 January 2020 1:14 PM

The Cape Town musician and her US foreign policy expert father Brooks Spector join Kieno Kammies in studio.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Mahindra KUV100

Cheapest new car in South Africa: 'Well-built and a lot of car for the price'

23 January 2020 11:55 AM

The Mahindra KUV100 is the most affordable new car in South Africa. Motoring journalist Ciro de Siena took it for a drive.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Man woman male female bathroom toilet pee restroom

Gender-neutral bathrooms are coming! Would you use them?

22 January 2020 1:27 PM

We must do away with separate toilets for men and women, argues Bonginkosi Madikizela (DA leader in the Western Cape).

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

stress-black-man-papers-laptop-work-tax-fees-money-finance-woes-businessjpg123rf

Trend: Higher salary hikes at bottom (rather than top) end of companies - survey

22 January 2020 8:17 AM

The report says the average salary increase in the country over the last year was 6.2%, reports P-E Corporate Services.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

rental-agreement-contract-landlord-tenant-lease-homeowners-couple-house-property

How to get rid of non-paying tenants without much of a hassle

21 January 2020 2:13 PM

Dodgy tenants who don’t pay – a perennial headache for landlords. Kieno Kammies interviews credit bureau TPN’s Michelle Dickens.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Pills pharmaceuticals medicine health

Don't make codeine a prescription drug says pharmacy association

21 January 2020 2:01 PM

ICPA agrees codeine does need to be better controlled because of potential abuse but the prescription route is not the solution.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

doctorjpg

Your expensive medical aid is woefully inadequate, but cheap gap cover helps

21 January 2020 1:16 PM

Despite the huge expense, few medical aids cover members in full when they're hospitalised, leaving them with massive shortfalls.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Children river rafting adventure 123rflifestyle 123rf

Legal tips and questions to check before signing your child's indemnity form

21 January 2020 7:59 AM

Senior Associate at Webber Wentzel Justin Malherbe explains the scope of indemnity forms and what to look for in the fine print.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward