Molecular test reduces 90% cancer risk

The risk of cancer of Mexican women is approximately 10%, however, in addition to the environmental ones, there are other factors, such as genetic-hereditary, that can raise the risk of suffering from breast-ovarian cancer up to 80%, according to with the doctor Rosa Ma. Álvarez, geneticist of sequencing at the National Cancer Institute (INCan).

The risk rises when hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome occurs, which can be detected because there are certain indicators established through a family history and a molecular test, explains the genetic specialist:

1. Have more than two family members diagnosed with cancer or cancer risk.
2. Diagnosis of cancer or risk of cancer in relatives under 50 years of age.
3. Presence or risk of cancer (same type) in several members of the family.
4. More than one type of cancer diagnosed in a relative.
5. Some rare type of cancer diagnosed in a member of the family.

A molecular test, like the one performed at INCan, explains the doctor Carlos Pérez-Plascencia, Head of the Unit of Genomics and Massive Sequencing of the Institute , allows the identification of mutations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, associated in at least 50% of the cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

According to Dr. Álvarez, this genetic approach is unique in Mexico, and almost in the world, thanks to which the risk of breast and ovarian cancer can be detected 20 years prior to the appearance of the tumor.

In this way, a molecular test not only allows a timely detection, but also the application of successful therapies that reduce the risk of cancer, such as bilateral mastectomy, which reduces it by 95%; chemoprophylaxis (tamoxifen), approximately 60%; the salpingo-oophorectomy, 80-85%, or some combination.

It should be noted, according to specialists, that opting for this type of therapies that aim to reduce as much as possible the risk of cancer, breast, ovarian or other, is the sole decision of the women themselves. They are the ones who can decide if they submit to these or other treatments, which can extend their life expectancy despite having a genetic-hereditary background.

Video Medicine: Hereditary Colon Cancer Syndrome: Diagnosis and Treatment (August 2022).