Genetics key to preventing cancer
Several cancers could be prevented by tracing your family's medical history, according to one of the world's leading physicians.
Dr Kenneth Offit, chief of the Clinical Genetics Service in the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, presented his latest study at the third Annual O'Brien Science Lecture in UCD.
His research strengthens the link between hereditary characteristics and cases of cancer. It is hoped it could be used to dramatically reduce cancer-related deaths by spotting patients who could be more vulnerable based on family medical history.
Dr Offit also called for the new findings to be accessible to health professionals and patients. "We need to work much harder in the medical profession to increase awareness and accessibility to preventative and medical care," he said. "From what I've seen in Ireland, you have almost all of the resources in place to make great progress."
Dr Offit said that the new information could be applied to breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer, which he said could be "completely preventable" if detected in family members.
Businessman and philanthropist Denis O'Brien also attended at event.