The relation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes’ mutation to the development of cancer is now actively studied by scholars in many countries of the world. The detection of a declined development of these genes might be a useful tool to prevent mortality caused by cancer. In spite of the relatively new ideas of such mutations’ effect on cancer which becomes a cause for many healthcare programs to refuse from BRCA screening, there are many advantageous outcomes of such a procedure that have to be taken into account.
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The first factor supporting the idea of the necessity of BRCA 1/2 screening for all women is directly connected with the detection of breast and ovarian cancer in the early stages of their development. According to the study conducted by Wang, “women carrying the predisposition in BRCA1 have 55-65% and in BRCA2 45- 47% risk of developing breast cancer” (1). According to such high rates of cancer dependence on BRCA mutation, it is obvious that this type of gene screening should be implemented as a standard procedure.
Indeed, in many progressive countries, the “BRCA mutation test is applied routinely in clinical practice through the family history-based approach” (Wang 1). The population screening that allows identifying the carriers of breast and ovarian cancers will lower mortality caused by these oncological issues (Plon 231). Thus, the early recognition of the predisposition of women to the most spread types of cancer will help save and prolong thousands of lives.
The second benefit of the standardization of BRCA mutation screening lies in its ability of early detection of other types of cancer which are caused by the predisposition inherited from family members. According to the National Cancer Institute, there have been many cancer types related to BRCA mutation detected in the result of genetic analysis (“BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing”). These types include fallopian tube cancer, prostate cancer, peritoneal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. It has also been found that the inherited BRCA mutation might cause different types of Fanconi anemia (“BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing”).
More importantly, the studies find that it is a BRCA 2 mutation that predicts the occurrence of pancreatic cancer in both men and women (Mersch et al. 269). Therefore, the standardization of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes’ mutation analysis increases the chances of early detection of patients’ predisposition to developing cancer types other than breast or ovarian. It serves as a solid proof of the necessity of BRCA screening for all women and men, too.
The third benefit of BRCA screening addresses the cost-effectiveness of population BRCA mutation testing in comparison to other forms of cancer predisposition examination. According to the study conducted by Manchanda et al., the assessment of beneficial outcomes for health in their relation to costs spent on diverse healthcare interventions is crucial for modern state economies (2). Multiple studies addressed the question of the cost-effectiveness of BRCA screening in comparison to a more traditional family history analysis approach and found that it is less expensive to implement gene BRCA testing than to utilize other procedures (Manchanda et al. 1; Norum et al. 1-2). These validations prove the necessity of gene mutation examination for all women to prevent mortality caused by cancer.
In the process of the analysis of BRCA1/2 screening benefits, several issues have been detected. They include early recognition of women’s predisposition to breast and ovarian cancers, detection of an inherited gene mutation that can lead to other severe health issues including different types of cancer in both men and women, and the overall cost-effectiveness of the procedure in comparison to traditional family history analysis. All the identified pros of BRCA1/2 screening are potent in decreasing cancer-related mortality rates and show the necessity of standard population screening.
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“BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing.” National Cancer Institute. 2018. Web.
Manchanda, Ranjit, et al. “Cost-effectiveness of Population Screening for BRCA Mutations in Ashkenazi Jewish Women Compared With Family History–Based Testing.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol. 107, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-14.
Mersch, Jacqueline, et al. “Cancers Associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations Other than Breast and Ovarian.” Cancer, vol. 121, no. 2, 2015, pp. 269-275.
Norum, Jan, et al. “BRCA Mutation Carrier Detection. A Model-Based Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Comparing the Traditional Family History Approach and the Testing of All Patients with Breast Cancer.” ESMO Open, 2018, pp. 1-9. Web.
Plon, S. E. “BRCA1/2 Population Screening: Embracing the Benefits.” Current Oncology, vol. 22, no. 4, 2015, pp. 230-231.
Wang, San Ming. “Pros and Cons for Population Screening BRCA Mutation Carriers.” Clinics in Oncology, vol. 1, pp. 1-3. Web.