Sinar Daily – 4th February 2022
The stigma surrounding cancer, the big ‘C’, continues to be a barrier when it comes to patients seeking treatment.
According to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the number of Malaysians that will be diagnosed with the disease is expected to rise to 66,000 annually by the year 2030.
One of the ways in which we can fight this silent killer is through genetic testing and genetic counselling, a process that identifies changes in an individual’s genes. This in turn can predict any medical condition that may have genetic roots.
It is usually done on asymptomatic individuals to spot potential risks for some diseases or specific genetic traits.
Genetic Counselling Society Malaysia’s president Ms.Yoon Sook Yee, who is also one of two certified genetic counsellors in the country, told Sinar Daily that this is where genetic counselling comes in.
“What we essentially do is help increase a family’s awareness and understanding of particular genetic diseases and the risk and benefits of testing, disease management, and the options available to them,” she said.
Besides providing information on making more informed medical decisions, genetic counsellors also provide counselling services on advocating for patients. These medical specialists can refer individuals and their families to relevant healthcare professionals.
It is no secret that any form of cancer, when detected in its early stages, is highly likely to be cured.
With genetic testing and counselling, the probability of that happening increases exponentially due to early diagnoses.
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