Develop Test for Bowel Cancer Gene

world health organization logo credit US Mission Geneva via flickr

Target: Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization

Goal: Aid in the development of a test or screening for the bowel cancer gene

Cancer is the nightmare of the modern world because everyone knows someone who has died from the disease.  But the more that scientists begin to understand about the causes of cancer, from genetics, the environment, sun exposure, to carcinogens, the more knowledge there is to fight against cancer.

For instance, it’s common knowledge that one should wear sun screen and not smoke cigarettes, but some cancers, such as those with a genetic link, are harder to prevent. Only a small amount of cancers have been found to have a genetic link, but bowel cancer is one of them. Sign this petition and urge the World Health Organization (WHO) to help develop a test or screening for the bowel cancer gene.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have recently discovered two genes that greatly increase the risk of bowel cancer. There are some who suffer from bowel cancer that do not have these gene faults present, but those who do have these gene faults have a high chance of developing bowel cancer. This development can be used to develop a test or a screening to find out if a person carries these gene faults. This test could also aid in early detection because those with these gene faults will know to be screened for bowel cancer more frequently.

A similar breakthrough in breast and ovarian cancer treatment occurred when scientists discovered genes that increase the risk for these cancers. The relatives of women who suffered from these cancers could be screened for these genes and monitor their health more carefully.

Like the bowel cancer genes, not all women who have breast and ovarian cancer have the related gene faults, but those with the genes do have a higher chance of developing the cancer. The development of a genetic test to test for the breast and ovarian cancer gene faults have helped to save lives by early diagnosis and even prevention.

This important breakthrough in bowel cancer treatment could help to turn the tide for those with a strong family history of bowel cancer. Sign this petition and urge the WHO to work with the researchers at Oxford to develop a genetic test for the bowel cancer genes.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Margaret Chan,

The recent breakthrough in bowel cancer research at the University of Oxford is both exciting and potentially life changing. The discovery of the bowel cancer genes has huge implications for the early diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer. The discovery of a hereditary gene seems similar to the discovery of the BrCa genes in breast and ovarian cancer and my hope is that a similar genetic test to that which is used to test for the BrCa genes can be developed to test for bowel cancer.

I ask that you aid in developing this test so that it can become a tool used in the early diagnosis of bowel cancer. A genetic test has changed the way that doctors treat patients with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer and my hope is that a genetic test for bowel cancer will do the same.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

-Photo credit: US Mission Geneva via flickr

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