Cancer Australia developed the Position Statement on genetic testing for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer with the aim to provide information and recommendations on genetic testing for women diagnosed with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, based on available evidence and on consensus. Heritable mutations are found in approximately 14% of women with epithelial ovarian cancer in Australia and may be carried by both male and female blood relatives.1
Cancer Australia developed the Position Statement based on a high-level review of evidence, and national and international guidelines. A multidisciplinary Working Group comprising members with clinical, academic and consumer experience of ovarian cancer and genetic testing provided expert input into the development of the Position Statement.
Cancer Australia recommends that women newly diagnosed with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer should be offered assessment of their genetic risk. Women with a previous diagnosis of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer should be offered assessment of genetic risk at their next follow-up visit.
A woman with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer should be offered genetic testing for heritable mutations if she meets certain clinical, or personal and family history criteria.
Identification of an inherited faulty gene is important as it can influence treatment options for the woman with ovarian cancer. It can also allow the assessment and management of risk of other cancers. If a heritable mutation is identified, relevant family members can be offered referral for genetic counselling and genetic testing for the known mutation.
This Position Statement provides health professionals with evidence-based recommendations on appropriate referral for genetic risk assessment and genetic testing for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is endorsed by the Australian Society of Gynaecologic Oncologists, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Medical Oncology Group of Australia, Human Genetics Society of Australasia and Ovarian Cancer Australia.