Preventative DNA screening for young Australians
In a world-first, Monash University is leading a DNA screening program that will allow Australians aged 18-40 to assess their risk of cancer and heart disease. It is thought that early detection of these diseases will allow young Australians to make more informed health decisions.
DNA Screen is a nation-wide project funded by the Federal Government and supported by Australian Genomics. Up to 10,000 representative young Australians will be able to undertake DNA screening for free via a saliva kit posted to their home. Participant saliva samples can then be posted for testing.
Jane Tiller, Monash University’s Public Health Genomics Ethical, Legal & Social Adviser and co-lead of DNA Screen, states:
“We expect to identify about 1 in 75 people at high risk of these diseases. Those found to be high risk won’t necessarily get the disease, but pinpointing risk before symptoms appear enables prevention through regular check-ups, medication, or risk-reducing surgery. It could save their life.
“If successful, this approach could dramatically improve access to genetic testing on a wide scale and save countless lives across a range of conditions.”
Participants who receive a high-risk result will speak with a genetic counsellor who can outline a preventative strategy and connect them with ongoing clinical support.
Australians aged 18-40 can register for the project here.
- DNA Screen FAQs
- ABC News WA – This world-first DNA saliva test can screen young Australians for risk of cancer and heart disease
- The Guardian – “Ticking away in the back of my mind’: what does it mean to know the risk embedded in your DNA?
- Nine News – Australia leads world-first DNA screening for cancer and heart disease risk