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Genomic testing: shining a light on breast cancer risk

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7th November, 2023

NSW Health Pathology’s Can­cer Genomics Ser­vice offers genet­ic test­ing to pro­vide accu­rate can­cer diag­no­sis’ and help treat­ing clin­i­cians select the most effec­tive treat­ment for their patients.

Genomics can also pre­dict a person’s risk of devel­op­ing a par­tic­u­lar set of can­cers, includ­ing inher­it­ed gene abnor­mal­i­ties or genet­ic predispositions.

For over 25 years, the ded­i­cat­ed sci­en­tists and tech­ni­cians at NSW Health Pathology’s Divi­sion of Mol­e­c­u­lar Med­i­cine, led by Lau­re­ate Pro­fes­sor Rod­ney J. Scott, have been work­ing to accu­rate­ly diag­nose genet­ic pre­dis­po­si­tions to breast cancer.

“Our New­cas­tle Divi­sion of Mol­e­c­u­lar Med­i­cine is at the fore­front of genet­ic med­i­cine and research and is one of the largest ded­i­cat­ed cen­tres for screen­ing and diag­no­sis of breast can­cer in Aus­tralia. We have pro­vid­ed genet­ic test­ing for over 30,000 patients in NSW,” said Pro­fes­sor Scott.

“By equip­ping patients and their treat­ing doc­tors with accu­rate test­ing results and knowl­edge about their genet­ic pre­dis­po­si­tion to breast can­cer, we help to ensure that poten­tial­ly life­sav­ing mon­i­tor­ing, ear­ly detec­tion strate­gies and treat­ment ther­a­pies can be put in place.”

Knowl­edge about the genet­ic basis of breast can­cer risk is con­stant­ly evolv­ing and breast can­cer treat­ments are con­tin­u­al­ly improv­ing, espe­cial­ly for those with a genet­ic pre­dis­po­si­tion to disease.

“Our inter­na­tion­al­ly-recog­nised, high­ly-skilled genet­ic pathol­o­gists, sci­en­tists and tech­ni­cians are con­stant­ly updat­ing their approach and devel­op­ing faster, more com­pre­hen­sive tests to remain at the fore­front of can­cer pre­dis­po­si­tion test­ing and diag­no­sis,” said Mar­tin Cano­va, NSWHP Direc­tor Strat­e­gy & Transformation.

“We con­tin­ue to use genomics in new ways to improve patient care and the health of our communities.”


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