Online tool offers hereditary cancer risk assessment

Patients worried about their risk of hereditary cancer can now get a personal assessment through an online tool by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Nine out of 10 people with a family history of cancer are thought to overestimate their risk, according to a poll last year. It also showed that 60 per cent of people wrongly believe that cancer is the biggest risk factor for cancer.

But an online programme called Online Personal Education and Risk Assessment (OPERA) could help allay fears over risk of inherited breast and ovarian cancer. 

Users are asked to answer a few simple questions about themselves and their families, from which OPERA produces personalised information and advice.

DoH cancer czar Profesor Mike Richards said: ‘For many it will provide reassurance that the risk is not as high as they feared. For others it will provide the information which prompts them to see their GP.'

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

Genetics risk factors

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