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October 26, 2010

Genomics News
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» Paternal health ‘disregarded in breast cancer cases’

The BBC website reports today that women at risk of breast cancer miss out on tests and early diagnosis because their father’s family’s health history is disregarded, a study has suggested. Canadian researchers say in Lancet Oncology that women were more likely to report a history of the disease on their mother’s side. They found women with a maternal cancer history were five times more likely to be referred by family doctors. A UK cancer charity said a father’s history was “often overlooked”.

It is thought that between 5% and 10% of breast and ovarian cancers are the result of a genetic inheritance. This is equally likely to have come from either the father or mother. A significant chunk of this genetic risk is known to come from defects on either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which make it much more likely that a woman will develop breast or ovarian cancer in her lifetime. If a woman has a strong family history of breast cancer, she can be referred for further testing to see if she has a known gene defect. She can then take steps to reduce the risk, or simply get checked more regularly to catch the cancer early.

Read the full article on the BBC website

The NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre website has more information and resources on collecting, recording and interpreting family history information.

October is breast cancer awareness month. Read Joy’s real life breast cancer story on the Telling Stories Understanding Real Life Genetics website

October 5, 2009

Genomics News
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» Inherited high cholesterol – Wales to lead screening in the UK

Last week Edwina Hart (Health Minister for the Welsh Assembly Government) announced the introduction of a new screening programme to identify people who are at risk of heart attacks due to high cholesterol.

The partnership between WAG and the British Heart Foundation will fund the roll-out of a programme specifically aimed at identifying people at risk of an inherited form of high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolaemia). FH is a condition that affects 1 in 500 of the population, but often goes undiagnosed. Because of the way FH can be passed on (autosomal dominant inheritance), first degree relatives (parents, children, siblings) of individuals with the condition are at 50% risk of also having it. Press Release

March 25, 2009

Genomics News
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» Family History Tools are 'One to Watch'

Great news this week from colleagues at the NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre. Our Family History series of resources (which includes fact sheets, drawing tool and video scenario for drawing and taking a family history) won “The One to Watch Category” in the West Midlands NHS Innovation Competition 2008 held in Birmingham. The Centre will now go forward to the National Awards in London this month as a short-listed finalist in the Diagnostics & Therapeutics Category.

Pocket sized drawing tools (like ours – see below) with cut out shapes to keep symbols consistent when drawing a family history are available – Great for those who know what they are doing. We work with health professionals from outside the area of genetics who often require support to get started. What is innovative about this tool is that both sides contain information on how to begin to draw a history and the sorts of details that needs to be recorded.

All our resources are freely available from the Centre for educational use and more will be added over the coming months. Click here to view some of the resources currently available.

If you take a look at any of them please post a comment on the blog – we are always looking for feedback.

Family History Drawing Tool

Centre Manager Candy Cooley and colleague Michelle Madeley accept the award

December 3, 2008

Genomics News
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» The news just gets better.

Hot off the wire: The NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre’s Family History series of resources (see blog below) has, this afternoon, come runner up in the National Awards in London in the Diagnostics & Therapeutics Category.

July 8, 2008

Genomics News
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» Cancer Genetics open day

Thanks to our very own Rachel Iredale and her colleagues at the All Wales Medical Genetics Service for the opportunity to attend the Cancer Genetics Open Day on Saturday. The event coincided with the 60th Birthday of the NHS and everyone who has had contact with the cancer genetics service in Wales received an invite. Despite the rain (and boy did it throw it down at times) the day was a great success with I’m told, more than 180 attending. In addition to presentations there were a number of stands providing information about the work of AWMGS and others organisations including Tenovus, Macmillan, Maggie’s Centres, Wales Gene Park and of course our very own Telling Stories. Certainly the response we had to our work continues to be very positive with those attending adamant that doctors and nurses working outside the specialty also need to know about genetics. Without comprehension of the basic principles, individuals will not get referred and other, at risk family members may not be identified. There is a second event in North Wales on 15 November. Information is available here

June 13, 2008

Genomics News
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» Family historians never die ….

They just lose their census!

That was the closing comment from Ann on Tuesday evening as she talked about her own experiences of tracing her family. As Kev mentioned in his earlier blog, the talk at Gartholwg Lifelong Learning Centre was well received. More that 60 came along to the event; many came armed with paper and pen eager to take away some ‘top tips’ and some stayed for more than an hour afterwards to share their own experiences and to exchange ideas.

Below are some images of the evening. They include Kev during his rendition of I am my own grandpa (the hyperlink is one of many on the web. Unfortunately none of them are of Kev singing!!) and pictures of what Family History means to Ann. The list of names is taken from an amazing little book written in the 1890’s that started Ann on her journey.

Ann and Kev

Some of Ann’s family

The start of the journey

What family history means to me..

Ann at Gartholwg

June 2, 2008

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» Family History...it's not all genetics

Our very own Ann Yeomans (Faculty Research Coordinator) is talking next week about her journey to trace her family history. Ann has been delving deep into the archives for a number of years and has many interesting stories to tell. The event has been organised by Wales Gene Park and is taking place at Gartholwg Lifelong Learning Centre, Church Village next Tuesday (June 10) @ 7pm. The event is free but you do need to reserve a place – see flyer for details.

Flyer

January 28, 2008

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» Wellcome Trust Family History Grant

Friday saw the first meeting of the advisory group for the Genetic Literacy and Family History project (funded by the Wellcome Trust. Rachel Iredale from the GPU is leading on the project along with Mark Brake (Science Communication), Steven Harris (Science Shops Wales), Martin O’Neill (Merthyr Media) and Maggie Kirk. The two researchers who’ll be working with young people in the Merthyr area are about to start. They will be working with a group of 16-18 year olds on a number of tasks and creative projects (to be decided by the young people themselves) to explore the views they hold about genetics. This looks like it’s going to be a really exciting project so watch this space over the next two years to read updates on how the work progresses.