Genetic testing and personalized genetic counselling to help Canadians determine their risk of developing cancer
Toronto, ON - April 4, 2017– LifeLabs has made BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing more affordable and more accessible to Canadians so that they can make potentially life-saving decisions about their health. As of April 3rd, all women can receive pre- and post-test genetic counselling as part of LifeLabs’ BRCA testing service. This means that women will have information about the benefits and risks of the test before they are tested and help with interpretation of the findings after the test results are received.
Women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have up to an 85% chance of developing breast cancer and up to a 40% chance of developing ovarian cancer, making the accessibility and affordability of this test so important. Other cancers associated with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 include male breast and prostate cancer, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer.
“Unfortunately, breast and ovarian cancers are not rare diagnoses for Canadian women,” says Sue Paish, CEO at LifeLabs. “According to the Canadian Cancer Society, last year an estimated 2,800 women were newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Part of our mission at LifeLabs is to make genetic testing more accessible to Canadians as we help in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer,” adds Paish.
Financial support through provincial programs may be available for BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing and genetic counselling for women with a personal and/or significant family history of these cancers.
“The BRCA1 and BRCA2 test is a simple blood test that contains powerful information,” says Kate Gardiner, Genetic Counsellor at LifeLabs Genetics. “Cancer is never an easy topic to discuss. Providing comprehensive pre- and post-test genetic counselling as part of our service significantly helps patients make informed decisions about this test and the results they receive.
The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic test is available now, provided by LifeLabs’ partner, Centogene. The test must be ordered by a physician. Patients receive pre- and post-test genetics counselling from LifeLabs’ board certified genetic counsellors. This service includes discussing the benefits and risks of genetic testing, interpretation of results, assessment of risk as well as emotional support and information about health management resources. Patients who receive a positive result for a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation are encouraged to consult with their doctor about risk reducing options, including increased surveillance, prophylactic surgeries and/or medication.
For more information on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetics test and LifeLabs Genetics, visit www.LifeLabsGenetics.com or call 1.84.GENE HELP (1.844.363.4357).
For media inquiries please contact:
Brenna Birkin, LifeLabs