The Anonymous Widower

Angelina Jolie Gene Testing For All?

The title of this post is the same as this article on the BBC.

This is said.

Testing all women for the “Angelina Jolie gene”, even if not considered at risk, would prevent cancers, save lives and is cost effective, say doctors.

Having lived for forty years with my wife, who suffered breast cancer and then a few years later died from a squamous cell carcinoma of the heart, I know a lot about the emotional problems of cancer.

Many cancers and other diseases, like my coeliac disease, can be found in our genes.

Our youngest son died of pancreatic cancer, which was probably not helped by his smoking and poor eating and health habits.

If he had been a coeliac, which could have been likely because of my genes, that wouldn’t have helped either! But he wouldn’t be tested!

Speaking for myself, my life might have been very different, if I had been genetically tested as a child!

In the future, genetic testing will become much more the norm, as doctors, researchers, scientists and engineers will reduce the cost of doing a full genetic test.

The BBC article also says this.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, estimated the impact of screening all 27 million women over 30 in the UK.

They said it would:

  • prevent 64,500 more breast cancers
  • prevent 17,500 more ovarian cancers
  • save 12,300 more lives

The study also said mass screening would be cost-effective for the health service.

But why stop at breast and ovarian cancer?

I feel strongly, that anybody likely to be a coeliac, should be tested at birth.

Keeping to a gluten-free diet, is getting easier every year and research at institutions like Nottingham University has shown, that coeliacs on a gluten-free diet are significantly less likely to get cancer, than the general population.





January 18, 2018 - Posted by | Health | , , ,


  1. I agree in principle, my daughters schoolfriend was one of the first children to be give the heel prick test for PKU when it was opened up for all 7 day old babies, not just those in Norfolk, where it is extremely prevalent. She tested positive, was put on the relevant diet, and grew up to be a perfectly normal, intelligent, bright woman. Had she been born a year or so earlier, she wouldn’t have been tested, and her diagnosis would have been about 3 years later when she has ever increasing brain damage.

    I do think that people should have the opportunity to opt out if they wish. another of daughter’s friends has Huntingdons Disease in the family, and it is more likely than not that he will develop it himself. But he has chosen not to know, because modern treatment is improving the outlook very quickly, and treatment for him will be much better for him than it has been for his dad, and for any chhildren or grandchildren he might have.

    I had the initial testing for inherited breast cancer, a long time ago before BRCA gene was discovered, A lot of women n my family have great cancer. Looking at the incidence, and where the people were related to me, and what was known about the type of family. I am fortunate, in that my risk is no higher than average.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | January 18, 2018 | Reply

    • In my father’s family, there diesn’t appear to be much cancer. But I’m certain that the family didn’t eat a coeliac-unfiendly diet. Although, I’m rhe only one diagnosed with coeliac disease. But I’m not serious!

      Comment by AnonW | January 18, 2018 | Reply

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