National Specialist launches new genetic counselling and testing service
The need for rapid and accurate genetic testing particularly in, relation to cancer, has skyrocketed over the last decade. In response to this increased need, national specialist, Vicki Kiesel has launched a new genetic clinic, Genetic Experts UK: offering genetic counselling and testing in all areas of genetics, particularly in relation to cancer genetics.
Vicki Kiesel, Consultant Genetic Counsellor and Director of Genetic Experts UK is a well-known genetics expert having featured recently in BBC2 DNA Family Secrets, lectured at Leicester University and leading the genetic counselling team at the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland NHS Genomic Service. She has more than 15 years’ experience in genetic counselling specialising in cancer genetic testing, having launched the first colorectal cancer registry in the state of Connecticut before returning to the UK in 2008.
Vicki enthuses “Genetic counselling and testing has developed rapidly over the past few years: when the first breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 were identified in 1994 genetic testing took years and results were incomplete. Now we are able to sequence (analyse) multiple genes simultaneously and get the results in 3 weeks. This dramatic improvement in accuracy and turnaround time means that genetic results can be incorporated into the treatment of cancer and can help guide both surgery and chemotherapy as well as directly surveillance for healthy people”
Women who carry a pathogenic variant in a breast cancer susceptibility gene have up to a 90% risk of breast cancer compared to the typical 13% in the general population. Due to this high risk of breast cancer some women, like Angelina Jolie and Michelle Heaton, may decide to have a risk reducing double mastectomy. Additionally, some breast cancer genes can also increase the risk of other cancers, such as ovarian cancer.
Sadly, breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer in women, affecting many people and touching most families. With the passing of musician, Sarah Harding at only 39 years of age, public awareness of this devastating condition has increased even more, with women anxious to know whether they are at risk. In addition, to traditional genetic testing such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, Genetic Experts also offers SNP (single nucleotide polyporphism) testing to help target breast cancer surveillance for healthy women without a family history.
Genetic Experts UK, offers a wide range of genetic counselling services, focusing on cancer genetic testing and risk assessment but facilitating the dissemination and understanding of all genetics.