World Cancer Day – Close The Cancer Testing and Care Gap.

Published on

04/02/2024

World Cancer Day, held annually on the 4th of February, is a global initiative ran by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The aim of World Cancer Day is to raise worldwide awareness, enhance education, and catalyse personal, collective, and governmental action, envisioning a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are averted, and access to life-saving cancer testing and treatment is equitable for everyone, regardless of their identity or location.

In 2020, around 10 million people died from cancer1 and WHO estimates that between 30-50% of all cancer cases are avoidable2. In many cases, the difference between survival and death is early detection. Its commonly cited that early cancer detection saves lives. However, many people don’t have access to the information or services to facilitate early identification.

Closing the Care Gap.

The theme for World Cancer Day 2024 is Close the Care Gap and is about “making sure our leaders know that we demand a commitment to prioritising cancer, to creating innovative strategies designed to confront inequity and to investing our resources to achieve a just and cancer-free world” 3.

More and more companies are introducing corporate health and wellbeing programmes for their staff, many of which include cancer screening and testing. But employers have a wealth of these schemes to consider, so what should they look for? A good health and wellbeing programme aims to provide testing, education, and advice on a range of health areas, ultimately resulting a healthier workforce in both mind and body, improved staff morale, reduced workdays lost to absence, and increased productivity. We also believe that the introduction of more corporate health and wellbeing programmes is one way in which increased testing and care could be provided.

In this article, we’d like to showcase our range of cancer testing services which both corporate and private customers can benefit from.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing identifies changes, or mutations, in a person’s genes that could increase their risk of developing a disease, in this case, cancer. Genetic testing identifies changes, or mutations, in a person’s genes that could increase their risk of developing a disease, in this case, cancer. These genetic alterations can lead to the development of cancer by causing cells to grow and divide uncontrollably, leading to the formation of a tumour. Understanding these genetic changes can help doctors predict a person’s risk of developing certain types of cancer and guide treatment decisions if cancer does develop1.

Cancer risk genetic testing usually involves taking a blood or saliva sample. This sample is then sent to a lab, where DNA is extracted and analysed for mutations in certain genes that are linked to a higher cancer risk. These test results can offer crucial insights into an individual’s risk of developing cancer and assist in planning for prevention and early detection.

It’s crucial to understand that testing positive for these genetic markers doesn’t mean one will develop cancer. It indicates a higher risk. On the other hand, testing negative doesn’t ensure immunity from cancer, as many cancer cases arise from mutations that happen throughout a person’s life, not from inherited ones.

To read more about the details of genetic testing and caner risk, take a look at our blog, Unravelling Genetic Testing’s Potential in Cancer Risk Stratification. (https://healthchecks.randoxhealth.com/genetic-testing-cancer-risk/)

Genetic Cancer Risk

Up to 1 in 10 cancers may be caused by genetic mutations that are inherited from your parents4. There are specific changes in the DNA that if identified in an individual’s genes, may mean that they are at increased risk of developing cancer. Some of these genetic mutations are highly specific, while others may indicate risk of a variety of types of cancer. Our Genetic Cancer Risk Test overs 94 different genes suspected to play a role in predisposing cancer, including genes associated with increased risk of breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal and thyroid cancer. The full list of genes investigated can be found below:

See List of Genes:

AIP, ALK, APC, ATM, BAP1, BMPR1A, BLM, BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, BUB1B, CDH1, CDK4, CDKN1C, CDKN2A, CEBPA, CEP57, CHEK2, CYLD, DDB2, DICER1, DIS3L2, EGFR, EPCAM, ERCC2, ERCC3, ERCC4, ERCC5, EZH2, EXT1, EXT2, FANCA, FANCB, FANCC, FANCD2, FANCE, FANCF, FANCG, FANCI, FANCL, FANCM, FH, FLCN, GATA2, GPC3, HRAS, HNF1A, KIT, MAX, MEN1, MET, MLH1, MUTYH, NBN, NF1, NF2, NSD1, PALB2, PHOX2B, PMS1, PMS2, PRF1, PRKAR1A, PTCH1, PTEN, RAD51C, RAD51D, RECQL4, RET, RHBDF2, RUNX1, SBDS, SDHAf2 , SDHB , SDHC , SDHD , SLX4 , SMAD4 , SMARCB1 , STK11 , SUFU , TSC1 , TSC2 , TMEM127 , VHL , WRN , XPA , XPC

What Genetic Risks Should I be Aware Of?

Genetic Breast & Ovarian Cancer Risk

Breast cancer accounted for 2.3 million cancer cases in 20201, that’s around 1 in 8 of all cancer diagnoses. As for ovarian cancer, it’s the 6th most common cancer in the UK5. A gene mutation could mean you have a higher risk of developing cancer. The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Mutations in these genes are also responsible for most ovarian cancers.

Our hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genetic risk test covers 8 different genes including BRCA1 and BRCA2 associated with both hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Prostate Cancer Risk

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. In the UK, 1 out of 8 men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis within their lifetime. It is estimated that 12,000 men die every year from prostate cancer6. A family history of prostate cancer, breast cancer or ovarian cancer, might increase the risk of getting prostate cancer due to an inherited mutation. Our prostate cancer risk test measures for mutations in 12 different genes associated with increased risk of prostate cancer including:

ATM, BRCA1, CHEK2, EPCAM, HOXB13, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, NBM. PALB2, PMS2, RAD51D, TP53, BRCA2

Genetic Bowel Cancer Risk

In the UK there are 120 new case of bowel cancer every day, 54% of which are preventable, making it the 4th most common cancer in the UK7. It is thought that between 5-10% of bowel cancer cases are caused by a genetic mutation in a known gene8. Our bowel cancer risk test screens for mutations in 11 different genes associated with increased risk of bowel cancer including:

APC, BMPR1A, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, PMS2, PTEN, SMAD4, STK11

*click/tap dots above to flick through different risk*

Other Cancer Testing.

Tumour-associated markers

As part of our Signature packages, and as an add on to our Everyman/Everywoman and Discovery packages, we test for a range of tumour-associated markers linked with bowel, ovarian, breast, liver, and pancreatic cancer, all from a simple blood and urine sample! Tumour-associated markers include:

Expand/Close List of Markers

  • Neuron Specific Enolase (NSE)
  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP)
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA)
  • Cancer Antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9)
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
  • Cancer Antigen 125 (CA 125) – Female Only
  • Cancer Antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3) – Female Only
  • Prostate Cancer Risk Score – Male Only
  • Total Prostate Specific Antigen (TPSA) – Male Only.

Our Signature, Everyman/Everywoman and Discovery packages offer health testing at a range of levels, allowing us to offer testing suitable to all situations.

Advanced PSA

Our advanced PSA test combined both our novel prostate cancer risk score and traditional PSA testing to provide a comprehensive assessment of your risk of developing prostate cancer, helping to reduce the need for unnecessary and invasive procedures. This combination of novel biomarkers and traditional PSA testing has been shown to significantly improve the predictive ability to identify individuals with prostate cancer when compared with traditional PSA testing alone9.

In addition to this PSA test, we can provide PSA testing from the comfort of your own home, removing the need to visit one of our clinics. To learn more, visit https://randoxhealth.com/en-GB/at-home/psa.

Your Results

If you ever assembled flatpack furniture, you’ll know just how important clear and thorough instructions can be. Similarly, a health test that provides you with results which are impossible to interpret can often cause as much harm as good. At Randox Health, we’re very proud to provide you with comprehensive reports that are easy to read and understand. We breakdown each result you receive, explaining exactly what the result means and what implications of that result may be.

If you’re interested in private or corporate testing, please reach out to us! We’d be thrilled to hear from you (https://randoxhealth.com/en-GB/contact-us). Alternatively, if you’d like some more information on our range of cancer tests, please visit https://randoxhealth.com/en-GB/cancer-risk.

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