Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fear Of Insurance Rejection Deters Potentially Life Saving Genetic Tests For Bowel Cancer

Date:
September 6, 2009
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
An Australian study of families with genetic risk of bowel cancer has found that 50 percent of participants declined genetic testing when informed of insurance implications.

An Australian study of families with genetic risk of bowel cancer has found that 50 percent of participants declined genetic testing when informed of insurance implications.

Related Articles


"This indicates that people have a significant fear of insurance discrimination which impacts their decision to have potentially life saving genetic testing," says co-lead author Dr Louise Keogh, of the University of Melbourne's Key Centre for Women's Health in Society.

The population-based study was led by researchers from the University of Melbourne and the Cancer Council Victoria, and published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Researchers identified 106 people from 25 families in which there were genetic mutations that increase the risk of bowel cancer. All were offered the chance to learn their own individual genetic information at a Familial Cancer Clinic.

"When we told participants about the life insurance implications of genetic testing, the number declining genetic testing more than doubled from 20 per cent to 50 per cent," Dr Keogh said.

"In Australia, while genetic information has no implications for health insurance, it can affect life, trauma, disability and sickness and accident insurance policies, "says co-lead author Christine van Vliet, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales.

"However this is not the case in all countries. Since we know all people have some genes which predispose to disease, it is important that the Australian life insurance industry does not deter people from learning about their genetic risks," she says.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer for men and women in Australia. One in every 3,000 Australians carry a genetic mutation that places them at high risk of bowel cancer.

"For those at high genetic risk, screening for and removal of polyps reduces the risk of bowel cancer by more than 50 percent," says Associate Professor Mark Jenkins of the University of Melbourne's School of Population Health and senior author on the paper.

"Insurance-related apprehension about genetic testing could have troubling public health consequences. Screening people at high genetic risk of bowel cancer is a highly cost effective way to reduce deaths due to bowel cancer," he says.

Dr Louise Keogh says that now that we know insurance policies are adversely affecting health decision-making, it is time to act.

"We call on the Federal Government and the Australian insurance industry to look at what other countries have done and reconsider the use of genetic information where genetic testing has the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality," she says.

People with a strong family history of bowel cancer and concerned about the possibility of having inherited a high risk can obtain a referral from a GP to visit a Family Cancer Clinic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Fear Of Insurance Rejection Deters Potentially Life Saving Genetic Tests For Bowel Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090906123011.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2009, September 6). Fear Of Insurance Rejection Deters Potentially Life Saving Genetic Tests For Bowel Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090906123011.htm
University of Melbourne. "Fear Of Insurance Rejection Deters Potentially Life Saving Genetic Tests For Bowel Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090906123011.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins