Women's College Research Institute

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Genetic counselling at WCRI

Genetic counselling at WCRI

November 2012

WCRI’s genetic counsellors, Sonia Nanda (pictured) and Aletta Poll, support a strong connection between patient care and research. They provide integral service and support to families with histories of breast and/or ovarian cancers. While looking after patients is their focus, their work advances the practice-changing work of the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit.

Our genetic counsellors want you to know that:

  • Men who carry BRCA1/2 genetic mutations can pass the mutation to their children, even though male mutation carriers don’t face the same high cancer risk as women.
  • BRCA mutations are more common in traditionally isolated populations, including Ashkenazi Jewish people, French-Canadian people, and people from the Bahamas.
  • More than 60 per cent of Jewish women with a BRCA mutation in Ontario don’t meet the criteria to be eligible for provincially-funded genetic testing.
  • Of the 38 per cent of Jewish mutation carriers who do qualify for genetic testing, few are referred by their family doctor.
  • These women have a 70 to 80 per cent risk of getting breast cancer – often at a young age.

Dr. Steven Narod’s research and WCRI’s genetic counselling clinic has proven that with evidence-based therapies, these women can reduce the risk dramatically, and prevent cancer.

More on WCRI’s breast cancer Impact + Innovation

Back to Impact November 2012

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  • Fully affiliated with:
  • University of Toronto

  • A member of:
  • Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)