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Woman Elects For Mastectomy: Prolonged Wait For Genetic Results

A 36-year old, Scot woman, Oonagh Wilson, elected to undergo hysterectomy and mastectomy. due to a 4-year delay in finding out the degree of susceptibility her family harbors to develop breast cancer //. Oonagh’s decision came after being told that she would have wait for at least two more years for the results of the genetic tests.

Lack of funding and trained professionals, changes in service delivery and delays in getting licenses from genetics watchdogs to perform the tests are the main reasons for the backlog of people waiting for results.

Politicians described the situation as "inhuman" and "shocking".

Mrs. Wilson said that she was left in the limbo, not knowing if her two children and other members of her family were carrying a cancer "time bomb". Her mother died of breast cancer in 2002. Her grandmother also died from the same disease while two of her aunts have also been diagnosed and have been treated.

Some women felt forced to remove their breasts prior to getting the results of tests because they were extremely worried and could not wait longer, the charity ‘Breakthrough Breast Cancer’ warned. Others preferred to go private to get the test results quickly, and this would cost them up to £1,800.

No figures could be provided on the number of women waiting to find out the results of the genetic tests, but approximately 450 such tests for breast cancer genes are carried out by Scottish doctors every year. Campaigners have asked that a time target be set by the end of 2006, for the genetic test results, with a maximum of up to eight weeks

Oonagh’s mother’s blood was submitted for genetic tests, at the end of 2002, to look for the presence of breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Tests have to be carried out on an affected relative before testing can be carried out on healthy relatives.

But when Mrs Wilson was told to wait for another two years she made up her mi
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