A new test that detects hereditary breast cancer and costs as little as 10 pounds could be on the market within a year, a leading expert has said.
Up to one in ten cases of the disease are caused by inherited faulty genes and women who carry either of them have an 80 per cent chance of developing the condition during their lifetime.
Currently women being tested for cancer-causing mutations in two specific genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 must undergo expensive full genetic sequencing, which can take up to 18 weeks to complete.
Now, the new procedure is now being tested out which could allow scientists to focus on the two genes for study, cutting costs and reducing the time spent on the process, according to scientists at Cancer Research UK.
"It's important for two reasons: to minimise the period when someone's anxious about the result, and I suppose because the sooner you make decisions the better it is," Telegraph quoted Professor Graham Taylor, Head of Genomic Services at Cancer Research UK, as saying.
"It should mean reduced waiting times and that means people can start making decisions about their choices for the future," he said.
He added: "It's what we can do with new technology. It's exciting and promising and it will enable the tests to go ahead more easily than they do at the moment."