New research based on data from 21 centres across the UK showed that many more women with a family history of breast cancer approached their GPs with concerns.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Campaign, said:
“This research, which was part-funded by Breast Cancer Campaign, shows the impact that raising awareness of an issue like breast cancer risk and family history can have - demonstrating how essential it is that people are aware that a family history of cancer can have implications for their own risk of developing the disease.
“Without Angelina Jolie’s openness in talking about her BRCA1 mutation and decision to have a risk-reducing mastectomy, followed by the publication and publicity around the updated NICE guidelines soon after, many women may not have approached health services and so would never have had their risk and risk-reducing options explained.
“However, this study highlights that funding for genetic services needs to be able to quickly respond to increased levels of referrals, if we are to ensure risk counselling and genetic testing remains available for everyone in need of them. The current level of funding available for this service should be reviewed, to avoid unnecessary delays, which can be very stressful for patients.”