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Population Genetic Testing

Population Genetic Testing is a model of care for testing entire at-risk populations for BRCA gene mutations, leading to identification of at-risk individuals for earlier diagnosis and prevention. It can reduce future burden of breast and ovarian cancer, freeing up resources for other clinical needs.

  • Health inequalities & prevention
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Population Genetic Testing addresses current NHS priorities by ticking many boxes in the Long Term Plan (consistent with LTP priorities), Cancer Strategy, focus on screening or early detection and cancer prevention.

According to an international study led by Queen Mary University of London, screening entire populations for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations could prevent millions more breast and ovarian cancer cases across the world compared to current clinical practice. The research also showed that it is cost effective in high and upper-middle income countries.


  • Offering BRCA gene testing to everyone, irrespective of family history, enables double the number of people to be identified as at risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • The reduction in treatment costs for breast and ovarian cancer can lead to cost savings of £3.7m for the NHS.
  • No increase in face-to-face appointments. Population Genetic Testing can be undertaken virtually through counselling over the phone.
  • Reduction in future chronic disease allows valuable NHS resources to be available for other clinical priorities.