Genetic Counseling and testing

Genetic Counseling and testing

Hellenic Association of Women with Breast Cancer “Alma Zois”, in cooperation with the National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, conducts a genetic counseling and testing program for women who have already experienced breast cancer, as well as for three  more first-degree members of their family.

The program is free for the members of Hellenic Association of Women with Breast Cancer “Alma Zois” that meet the necessary medical requirements.

Priority is given to unemployed and / or economically weak women.

Thus, women are able to make free extensive genetic analysis through testing of 41 genes.

Each woman has the opportunity to choose the scope of the analysis concerning:

  • The existence of a mutation in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • The breast cancer predisposition and ovarian
  • The predisposition for any form of cancer.

The reality for genetic testing in Greece

In our days, genetic testing for the search of mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes related to breast cancer, but also to the analysis predisposition to show breast / ovarian cancer or any other cancer type of cancer, is limited due to the cost of the examination, which reaches 2,000 € and due to the fact that the cost is not covered by the insurance funds.

Moreover, the group of genetic counseling (geneticist or molecular biologist, psychologist, oncologist), defined by the international scientific community is not always on disposal at the centres that the examination takes place.

The program’s mission

Through this program we aim:

  • To help women with breast cancer who meet the criteria for genetic testing to get the best decision for themselves (either making or not making the test).
  • To cover the cost of this highly accurate test.
  • To manage test results and the emotions that follow a positive response.
  • To Provide counseling and support both to the patient and to members of her family.
  • To provide best treatment options in case of a positive result

About the Genetic Testing Program

  • What is genetic testing and why is it done?

Genetic testing is the first record of the detailed (three generations) history in families with a history of breast, ovarian cancer or other types of cancer.
The genetic material from a blood sample is isolated and the genes that the woman has chosen are tested.
A genetic test is done in order to determine if there is a clear inheritance on the particular cancer.
This information is important for both the patients and their relatives.

  • What does a positive result for a woman who is already affected by breast cancer mean?

A positive result for a breast cancer patient means that:

  • She has inherited this predisposition
  • The oncologist has access to important information
  • The woman has increased breast cancer recurrence rate in the other breast and perhaps in the ovaries
  • If she has children (or other relatives) and even girls, she can find out which of them has inherited the genes and should be more careful
  • She has access to important information, which can help her to overcome the problem