According to a study in the School of Medicine at Stanford University, less than a quarter of patients with breast cancer and a third of patients with ovarian cancer diagnosed between 2013 and 2014, passed the tests for genetic mutations associated with cancer.
The results show that there are significant differences between the national guidelines for analysis. In particular, the results show that too few women with ovarian cancer are tested for the presence of mutations.
The study involved about 83,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer in California and Georgia in 2013 and 2014.
Heritable mutations or variations in certain genes, especially BRCA1 and BRCA2, increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Genetic tests for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been available for several years.
"The integration of genetic counseling and testing after diagnosis became much more difficult for patients and doctors," - explain the researchers.
Although genetic analysis recommendations have been expanded to include more patients with breast or ovarian cancer, it is unclear to what extent these recommendations are observed in actual clinical settings. Moreover, the prevalence of known cancer-related mutations in patients with breast and ovarian cancer, which are racial or ethnic minorities, and in the general population is unknown.
Scientists have linked data on cancer cases in California and Georgia with the data of four laboratories, spent most of the genetic cancer research in the period from 2013 to 2014. They found that only 24.1 percent of the 77,085 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 30.9% in 6001 with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer genetic tests passed.
Researchers also observed differences in the analyzes, especially among patients with ovarian cancer. They found that the income and the availability of insurance to play a role in the availability and dissemination of analyzes in women with ovarian cancer of all racial and ethnic groups. Prevalence tests dropped to 20 percent in areas where poverty in housing equals or exceeds 20 percent, and in regions where poverty of less than 10 percent - of about 38 percent.
"These differences underscore the need to improve the accuracy and clarity of the results of genetic tests, particularly for patients of racial or ethnic minorities" - explain the researchers.