Quest Diagnosis, a medical testing company, announced recently of developing a new genetic test to diagnose breast cancer. The test has been named as BRC Advantage.
While reading this news, my mind took me into my childhood memories. I was 8 when my loving grandmother passed away. She died at a very early age of 50 as she was late in diagnosing her breast cancer. If she was a little more aware about the various breast cancer tests available, she might have lived longer.
The new test developed is capable of identifying BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two), genes responsible for normal growth and functioning of the breast cells. But any kinds of abnormalities (mutations) in these cells can lead to an increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer.
Earlier a company, Myriad Genetics had a patent on these two BRCA genes which gave the company an exclusive holding on testing any mutations in these genes.
But a recent US Supreme Court ruling has invalidated this patent thus making the two BRCA genes available to other companies for developing their own tests. Breast Cancer Therapies Markets
And why not? A naturally occurring gene is a nature’s product and not a mere patent. And very soon the Supreme Court’s decision seems to be showing results with Quest Diagnosis coming with its first such test called BRC Advantage. The test is currently available in 49 US states and more than 2100 service centers. Quest Diagnosis hopes to increase the availability of these tests at high risking populations.
Reading about this new breast cancer test, questions still keep pouring in my mind that even after enough number of tests available, are we women actually aware about them?