New genetic counsellors to improve Queensland's cancer services

A new Queensland Government grant will see hundreds of additional women at risk of breast, ovarian and bowel cancer receive access to counselling.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg today announced $472,000 in funding will go to Genetic Health Queensland to appoint two genetic health counsellors and increase their pathology testing capacity. 

“Genetic counsellors can help provide relief from the uncertainty of being at high risk of some cancers or syndromes because they run in your family,” Mr Springborg said. 

“Our current counsellors can see up to eight patients per week, so additional staffing will improve our ability to provide this possibly life-changing service. 

“Genetic Health Queensland, which is managed through the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, provides outreach services to many regional areas, and will also harness the technology of telehealth to reach even more Queensland women.” 

The Minister said a separate funding amount of $350,000 provided each year until the end of 2018 had also been made available, to deliver a new emotional and psychological support service for women diagnosed with breast and gynaecological cancers. 

“Breast and gynaecological cancers are among the most common cancers diagnosed in Queensland women so it is important we have a range of services available to all women.” 

The funding follows the announcement earlier this week of an Australian-first trial now underway that pre-books breastscreen appointments with the aim of encouraging more women to access the Government’s free BreastScreen Queensland services. 

The Minister said the additional funding aimed to augment and strengthen the system and the range of services on offer. 

“It’s about providing a full spectrum of services to women; from detection through screening, diagnosis and treatment, and post-treatment recovery and support.” 

For more information on Genetic Health Queensland visit www.health.qld.gov.au/ghq/default.asp[KM1] 

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