Hereditary cancer risk 'should be evaluated'

A patient's risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome should be evaluated routinely, it has been suggested.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) says such a move is "an important first step" in cancer prevention.

It adds that early detection should be a routine part of medical practice, with those who are likely to have the syndrome referred immediately for further assessment.

Professor Karen Lu, of the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Centre, who wrote a practice bulletin on the issue for ACOG, said the vast majority of families who have hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome carry an inherited mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumour suppressor genes.

She added: "Women in these families may have a higher risk of breast, ovarian, peritoneal, and fallopian tube cancers."

Earlier this month, research conducted by Dr Nisa Maruthur and colleagues at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, US, indicated that obese women are less likely to seek breast cancer screening.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19091870-ADNFCR