The £175 genetic “Angelina Jolie” cancer test is the perfect example of prevention over treatment

drugs issues

Offering the £175 genetic “Angelina Jolie” cancer test to patients is the perfect example of how prevention over treatment can really save lives.

As we practically say in almost every single article we write, we’re aware that the NHS does not have a bottomless pit of money, and funding and resources are both a real problem right now. But, studies have confirmed that offering the cancer test that was made famous when Hollywood actress, Angelina Jolie, helped to raise awareness of a “faulty gene” linked with breast and ovarian cancer, is said to be cost effective.

This is the perfect example of how prevention over treatment should always be the primary focus.

News surrounding the cost-effectiveness of the £175 genetic cancer test broke earlier this year, but at a time where we are also seeing the potential for blood tests to spot cancer, and therefore hopefully stop cancer developing, and at a time where funding for cancer treatment is so stretched that patients’ lives are at risk, this kind of preventative test is invariably relevant right now.

We must make use of tools and tests like this to ensure those at risk of cancer can be helped before the killer disease strikes and leads to the awful scenario of the cancer becoming terminal. Treatment of cancer is incredibly costly, and as we have seen in recent stories, resources are lacking. With cancer care potentially costing tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds per patient, a £175 cancer test to identify a faulty gene to help stop cancer in its tracks is surely worth the cost.

Researchers reportedly calculated that if 71% of women had the £175 test, as many as 17,000 cases of ovarian cancer and as many as 64,000 breast cancer cases could be prevented.

It seems like a no-brainer to us. Prevention over treatment – particularly when the costing differences are on the kind of scale we see with cancer – must always be the focus. Not engaging in such prevention over treatment could prove to be an open door to negligence.

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