Today Icelandic biotech firm Decode Genetics announced the launch of the first commercially available test to assess a woman’s genetic risk of breast cancer, costing around £1,000.

Although we’re rapidly understanding more and more about the role of genes in cancer risk, we believe that it’s too early for a test of this kind to be released to the general public.  We are also concerned that the tests would be used without clear counselling about what the results might mean.

Click on the player below to listen to a short interview with Cancer Research UK Senior Clinical Research Fellow and breast cancer genetics expert, Dr Paul Pharoah, explaining his concerns about the test.

Link to download (1.4Mb, 2 mins 25)

There’s also an excellent, in-depth exploration of the issue over on Dr Len’s Cancer blog from the American Cancer Society.

Kat