Today's Medical News From Newspapers, TV, Radio and the Journals.
Customized Briefing for Dr. Jarir Nakouzi Monday, September 22, 2008
The AP (9/22, Marchione) reports that last year, nearly "100,000 tests for breast cancer gene mutations were done," and as more women undergo the test, parents may now be facing "a tough question: Should we test the kids?" A number of "medical experts advise against such testing before age 25, saying that little can be done to prevent or screen for breast or ovarian cancer until then, so the knowledge would only cause needless worry." But various studies and interviews "show that many people who have BRCA gene mutations -- and even more of their offspring -- disagree." Still, "research...shows there can be benefits to at least talking about testing and inherited cancer risks with teens." This inherited risk could be lowered by taking "anti-estrogen drugs or having [one's] breasts or ovaries removed," but "these drastic measures are not advised for very young women." In fact, "mammograms are not advised till age 25." In light of these facts, some medical groups "say that when the risk of childhood cancer is low and nothing can be done to lower it, children should not be given gene tests.