Jolie disclosure doubles genetic screening referrals

THE Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s annual scientific meeting in Adelaide has heard today that 94% of the referrals were categorised as either high or medium risk of having a genetic predisposition to cancer.

In the six weeks prior to the actress announcing that she carried the BRCA1 gene, genetics clinics in NSW, Vic and SA received 340 referrals.

In the six weeks after her announcement, there were 760 referrals, according to genetic counsellor Mary-Anne Young from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victoria.

“The majority of the referrals we’re getting, around 80%, are related to a family history of breast and ovarian cancer,” she said.

Referrals trebled in the immediate aftermath of Jolie’s announcement and have remained at double the previous volume since then, according to Ms Young.

“These patients can now receive genetic counselling and testing if appropriate, and discuss