Last week, we invited journalists from regional and national media to learn more about genetic testing, cancer, and hereditary cancer in particular. Several journalists showed keen interest in what Dr. Sudhir Borgonha, Chief Medical Officer at Strand Life Sciences, had to say about the genetic nature of cancer and that up to 10% of cancer cases can actually be attributed to inherited mutations in certain genes, like the BRCA (BReast CAncer) genes for example.

In fact, Strand’s own research into the cases of breast and ovarian cancer (BOC) referred to our lab has found that BRCA genes seem to play a far more important role in the incidence of BOC with BRCA mutations three-times more prevalent in India than in Western countries. You can read more about Strand’s research and India-related cancer statistics here. The key take-away from these findings is, that testing for BRCA mutations should be prescribed to all breast and ovarian cancer patients to identify if a hereditary factor was at play. If a mutation is found, this information can forewarn family members of their increased cancer risk  and open up additional treatment options to the cancer patients themselves. Our genetic tests have helped many patients and their families take charge of their health armed with the knowledge of their cancer risk. Read their inspirational stories here.

The invitation also included a tour of our state-of-the-art genetic testing facility which is one of the few laboratories in India that are both CAP and NABL accredited to ensure the highest standards of quality. Dr. Satish Sankaran, Vice President Clinical Operations & Laboratory Director at Strand Life Sciences, led visitors through the lab and explained all the required steps to process a sample for genetic testing.

At the facility tour, Dr. Vijay Chandru, Chairman and Managing Director of Strand Life Sciences, also emphasised the fact that genetic tests for cancers as well as inherited disorders can now be performed in India, at a significantly lower cost without compromising on quality. This has effectively eliminated the need for sending tissue samples abroad for analysis, saving time and money for patients.