From 5% to 10% of cancer cases seem to be hereditary. Based on this, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) aims to detect whether the appearance of this disease is related to genes or to prevent that the disease affects other family members.
Some years ago, Angelina Jolie underwent a series of procedures in order to avoid developing cancer, as many other members of her family did and she was able to perform a really early detection.
The genetic counseling service will be based on that concept and it will start in July, 2017.
Geiner Jiménez, medical oncologist at Calderón Guardia Hospital, explained that they intend to reach families with extensive cancer records and determine if there are common genes, even if the person has no symptoms and seems to be healthy.
According to the results, more drastic actions will be performed in these people as monitoring and diagnostic tests, as well as the possibility of carrying out mastectomies and other procedures.
The project will start with breast, ovarian and colorectal cancer, in which there is a strong hereditary connection. In the case of breast cancer, BRCA genes are the first to be tested.
This is one of the innovations that the authorities from the CCSS presented on October 19th in order to deal with the disease.