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Black women with breast cancer in St Louis much less likely to get genetic testing

More than 40 percent of African American women diagnosed with breast cancer did not receive the genetic testing they were eligible for, in a study of 250 patients in the St. Louis area between 2016 and 2018. Of those who were eligible, 9 percent turned out to be carrying potentially harmful gene mutations in later tests.

Genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer can help guide individualized therapy to treat the cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has created guidelines to help identify women who could benefit from genetic testing.

A simple solution to closing the racial gap is to make genetic testing universal for all breast cancer patients, suggested researcher Foluso Ademuyiwa (above) and her colleagues.

See the abstract of the scientific study “Assessing the effectiveness of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network genetic testing guidelines in identifying African American breast cancer patients with deleterious genetic mutations” by Foluso O. Ademuyiwa et al.

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