London - Doctors have called for a crackdown on do-it-yourself genetic tests after a string of patients were wrongly told they had a high risk of cancer.
Consumer genetics firms, which offer a limited analysis of cheek swabs and saliva sent in the post, have incorrectly told women that they have faulty BRCA genes, which indicate a high risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Doctors say the tests are placing considerable strain on the NHS, which deals with the fallout.
Professor Anneke Lucassen, from the British Society for Genetic Medicine, told The Guardian she had heard of at least 10 cases of flawed results.
She said: "I’m not saying ban these tests, but they need more regulating." One of her patients even scheduled a breast removal surgery after a test suggested she had a mutation.