The five-day session was described as fraught with tension and disagreement because most of the states were "concerned about the economic implications of migration, looking at the effects of remittances," said Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, chief executive of leading Pakistani NGO Awaz Foundation. He said the connection between health and migration was frequently overlooked.
European Society for Medical Oncology A study that looked at mainstreaming genetic counselling for ovarian cancer to support screening programmes in Malaysia was presented at the ESMO Asia Congress. The preliminary results of the MaGiC study show that most patients counselled by a well-trained but not necessarily an expert in genetics were satisfied or just as satisfied with their experience as compared to those being counselled by a genetic counsellor or clinical geneticist.
One in nine ovarian cancer patients carries the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer gene 1 or 2 mutation and four in 10 carriers do not have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
This has increased the number of patients who qualify for testing and thus specialised centres have become overloaded.
Basic genetic counselling workshops have been held for 70 non-genetic clinicians from 29 hospitals across Malaysia. Patients received pre- test counselling, followed by test results and post-test counselling. After both pre- and post-test counselling, they are interviewed by a researcher over the telephone to assess the feasibility and the psychosocial impact of the experience.
Most patients were satisfied with their counselling experience, felt informed about their choices, and found it easy to decide to go ahead with genetic testing. In terms of feasibility, patients in the local and specialised counselling arms were equally satisfied or very satisfied with the counselling they received.
The local counselling arm has been recruiting patients more quickly than the specialised arm. With this knowledge, we can focus on interventions to overcome these challenges.
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