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Aurora magazine

Ovarian cancer: the relevance of the BRCA genetic test

Ovarian cancer is a killer still too little known in Italy. The latest estimates say that 60% of women do not know him, this despite the 6 thousand new cases diagnosed each year only in the country. As opposed to other types of cancers, prevention tools are few: the most effective weapon is a DNA test to seeking the BRCA mutation.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 ovarian cancer is due to the mutation of the BRCA genes. For this reason, they are springing up more and more initiatives to promote genetic testing including how many have had a case family. This allows to identify the risk of cancer for time, so as to undertake the prevention paths required to reduce the risk. Unfortunately 75% of Italian women is not aware of the genetic mutation, although increases by 46% the chances of getting the disease.

Figure out if you are carriers of the mutation can be crucial for all women. Those who have already received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer can access more targeted treatments, which slow down the disease and reduce the risk of recurrence. An example are the drugs PARP inhibitors, which exploit the same BRCA mutation to bring the tumor cells to death. The healthy women, however, can activate a series of prevention strategies.

Ovarian cancer is lethal in most cases, because of the difficulty of identifying the symptoms. Almost 80% of the diagnosis is made when the cancer is already at an advanced stage, which greatly reduces a possibility to use effective treatments.