BRCA testing now available for free in Australia*

Since there are some Australian based women on this site, and BRCA testing has been a hot topic lately, I just thought I'd share this as reported in the media yesterday.

Medicare (the publically funded government-run healthcare system in Australia) has just announced funding of BRCA-gene testing for high-risk women under its new schedule (*women must be assessed by their primary health care practitioner first and referred as appropriate). Prior to adding it this to the benefits schedule women only had the option to test through a private consultant with fees ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

It's a start!

9 Replies

  • Great news

  • Go Oz!

  • So good to hear that it will be covered my Medicare in the near future although I had a BRCA test earlier in the year and it didn't cost a thing! It was proscribed by my Oncologist and covered by my private health fund. It came back inconclusive, and as a matter of interest I have a family history of Breast and Prostate cancer but it occurred in most instances late in life and put down to the ageing process... I am now 74. I finished my surgery and chemo in Feb after being diagnosed with OC stage 3b in August 2016 and so far my CA 125 has come back to 16 and seems to be dropping by one point every 3 monthly check.. next check November... I am positive. I find this site invaluable for info and follow all you ladies with great interest and admiration ..I wish you all the very best. Thank you!!

    Brenda from Albany Western Australia

  • That's great to know Brenda, if private health funds cover it then it takes a bit of strain off the public system. I haven't been tested but I haven't pushed the issue with my oncologist as I don't have a strong family history. I do recall him saying that there wasn't a link between "my kind" of OVCA (clear cell) and BRCA gene but I have read the opposite so ???

    So glad to hear things are progressing in the right direction for you. My 6 month check up is next week and, just like so many on here, my anxiety is increasing each day. Good luck with it all! Kirsty

  • You too Kirsty.. for next week!!.. I understand completely how you feel and so far it hasn't changed...I have Epithelium OC but was more to do with family history. My check ups are 6 monthly Oncologist and 6 monthly Gyne/Onc/ Surgeon so every 3 months I have my blood test .. not sure I could do 6monthly check.. it's all so nerve wracking!!!

    You are too young to have to go through all this and the consequences that followed. All the very best .. keep us up to date😊

  • Thanks Brenda! I am having 3 monthly checks, this is my 2nd, thus 6 months out if that makes sense! My oncologist is wonderful but I think he wants to push me out to 6 monthly face-face reviews as long as my CA125 is ok. I will talk to him about this next week as I've read a bit recently around Clear cell and how CA125 isn't always a great indicator for this sub-type (mine was 36 at diagnosis, 26 last check up but my initial tumour was tiny). I'm happy to follow his advice but want to advocate for what feels most comfortable for me. Anyway, thanks for the chat, it's lovely to feel connected ;)

  • Fantastic news for all our Oz sisters ❤️Xx Jane

  • That is good news and go for it if you have not done so already. It is available in Ireland but there is a huge waiting list and health insurance wont pay to go privately to get it done faster, It costs something like 1800euro.. But hopefully this will change in a few years.

  • Hi Purple K, I live in Queensland and my BRAC testing was free through the Peter Mc Callum Centre in Melbourne. I guess my oncologist was able to fit me into some sort of Clinical protocol. I am glad it is free for everyone else now. It would make it easier for family members. Thanks for the info. Sharon

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