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Assemblywomen Autumn Burke and Marie Waldron Demand More Genetic Testing for Women with a High Risk of Ovarian and Breast Cancer
By Sentinel News Service
Published March 8, 2018

Assemblywomen Autumn Burke (left) and Marie Waldron (File Photo)

Assemblywomen Autumn Burke (D- Inglewood) and Marie Waldron (R- Escondido) have introduced AB 2342 ensuring that women who have not been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, but who could be considered high-risk are appropriately assessed and if necessary, receive genetic counseling and testing.

Having a family history of breast or ovarian cancer may increase a woman’s risk of having cancer herself.  Scientists have discovered that certain mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in cells can greatly increase the risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer. A recent study by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that new technology now makes testing for these genes more affordable.

“It is imperative that all high risk women, even those without symptoms of breast or ovarian cancer, be identified and given the opportunity to receive screening, counseling and testing,” stated Assemblymember Burke. “Especially given that women of color are disproportionately dying due to lack of early detection and proper treatment.”

“Women who are at high risk for having a BRCA genetic mutation often don’t get genetic testing, or even a chance to speak with a genetic counselor who would help them weigh the necessity of such a test” said Assemblywoman Waldron. “Genomic testing is vital as it can guide treatment options for these women to give them the best possible odds of survival.”

It is estimated that 55-65% of women with a BRCA1 mutation and 45% of women with a BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70.

“Part of the reason for the high mortality rates of gynecologic and breast cancers is that detection often comes too late. Lives can be saved by early detection. All too often doctors do not offer early screening until symptoms occur, and that is due, in large part, to lack of insurance coverage,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz.

Councilmember Paul Koretz introduced a Resolution calling for the city of Los Angeles to sponsor AB 2342 and support the efforts of Assemblymembers Burke and Waldron to ensure that all high-risk women, regardless of socio-economic status or color are provided with every resource possible to protect themselves and their family.

Categories: News | Political
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