About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Rise in Breast Cancer Gene Testing Linked to Celebrity Endorsements

by Anjali Aryamvally on October 20, 2017 at 12:05 PM
Font : A-A+

Rise in Breast Cancer Gene Testing Linked to Celebrity Endorsements

The number of women who seek genetic testing to evaluate their risk of developing breast cancer has witnessed a sharp increase. This trend was driven by several factors including celebrity endorsements, says study conducted at University of Georgia.

"BRCA testing and counseling provide important information on the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers among women with family history of the cancers," said Zhuo "Adam" Chen, an associate professor of health policy and management at UGA's College of Public Health and lead author on the study. "Appropriate use of BRCA testing would lead to reduction in avoidable cancer mortalities and morbidities."

Advertisement


Women with hereditary BRCA gene mutations have a 45 to 65 percent risk of developing breast cancer before age 70, compared to 7 percent in the general population, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Chen and his colleagues wanted to understand the trends in BRCA testing costs and utilization. Their study analyzed testing rates, payment to the provider, and out-of-pocket costs for patients from 2003 to 2014, and compared findings to reported revenue from Myriad Genetics, the only provider of the test until 2013.
Advertisement

Overall, BRCA testing increased 80-fold during those 11 years, with a large spike in testing occurring in 2013.

That same year Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie published an op-ed in The New York Times promoting BRCA gene testing and the Supreme Court struck down the patent on BRCA gene testing.

"This could provide insights on the impact of the policy changes and the media coverage of celebrity endorsement," said Chen.

Current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines recommend BRCA testing for women at high risk, and the Affordable Care Act requires most private health plans to provide in-network coverage to women with family history of breast and ovarian cancer without cost-sharing for BRCA genetic counseling as a preventive service for women.

Though it may be tempting to connect the whirlwind of media coverage surrounding Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy following a positive BRCA test, Chen says the available data cannot point to which event had a greater impact.

"Jolie's op-ed, the Supreme Court decision on BRCA gene and the USPSTF recommendation occurred in a very compact timeline," Chen said.

His team has done some analyses examining the difference in the use of BRCA testing among women at elevated risk versus women at low risk, but any significant differences were hard to tease out from available data.

"In a companion study, we did examine whether women had follow-up surgical procedures and found an urban and rural disparity in the follow-up rates," said Chen. "Women residing in urban areas consistently had a higher rates of follow-up surgical procedures than those in rural areas, though the gap is narrowing."

As genetic testing becomes more accessible, Chen sees potential for individuals to make more informed decisions about their health.

"We live in a fortunate time where technology advances have greatly improved the quality of human life," he said.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Women and Cancer DNA Finger Printing Breast Biopsy Pagets disease of the breast Mastitis Cancer and Homeopathy Breast Cancer Facts Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art 

Recommended Reading
Research Suggests Negative BRCA Testing May Not Always Imply Lowered Breast Cancer Risk
Women who test negative for the family-specific BRCA2 mutations are still at greater risk for ......
Risk Reduction and Screening for Ovarian Cancer Among Women Following BRCA Testing Examined By Study
According to a report, following RCA testing, many women who are non-BRCA carriers undergo ......
BRCA Testing on the Rise for Women Without Breast, Ovarian Cancer
Women considered high-risk based on personal or family history for breast and ovarian cancer should ...
When Surgery Has Greatest Impact for BRCA Mutation Carriers
Of the women who carry the mutated BRCA1/2 genes, 45-65 percent will develop breast cancer, and ......
Breast Biopsy
Breast biopsy involves removing a sample of breast tissue to determine whether it is cancerous or .....
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, id...
Mastitis
Mastitis is a common cause of tenderness, swelling and pain in breast, owing to inflammation in the ...
Pagets disease of the breast
A detailed description of the Paget's disease of the breast, characteristic signs and symptoms, dete...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...
Women and Cancer
Cancer is one of the frequently talked about and most feared disease that falls under the genre of l...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use