Professor Jacques De Greve from the Vrije Universiteit (VUB) in Brussels, wants the Belgian population to have a blood test so those affected can receive preventative treatment for hereditary cancers. Pr. De Greve, from the VUB, is the cancer expert for the UZ Brussels. His appeal comes two weeks before the elections. The GP’s association Domus Medica has been more prudent and wants to establish just how beneficial this would be before considering it.
Figures provided by the Cancer Foundation reveal 68,216 Belgians learned they had cancer in 2016. 10% of those were hereditary cancers. Those that carry certain (often hereditary) mutant genes have a higher risk of developing cancer. The most common hereditary cancers are breast cancer, ovarian cancer, bowel cancer and cancer of the uterus.
Pr. De Greve said it would be relatively easy and cheap to determine if one of the ‘cancer’ genes was present via a blood test. This test is currently only performed when there is a history of cancer in the family.