Bulgarian Oncologists Want Larger Use of Genetic Testing in Cancer Detection

Health | February 5, 2019, Tuesday // 09:28|  views

On 4th of February, the World Cancer Day, oncologists from the Northern Bulgarian city of Rousse commented on the benefits of genetic testing and personalised therapy, reports BNT. 

They say that while such tests are used increasingly in other European countries and are paid in full or in part by the state, the cost in Bulgaria is covered only by the patient. And one such genetic test gives much better chances to diagnose and treat cancer.

Such tests are also an opportunity for early detection in people at high risk of developing malignancies. Only 10% of people understand at an early stage that they have cancer. According to Rousse experts, genetic testing will save a lot of money of the state - a genetic test for breast cancer costs about BGN 1,000, while the clinical path for surgery without further treatment costs BGN 1,300.

Dr. Katerina Genova, Chief of Department, Medical Oncology, in Rousse: Molecular genetic tests allow for more precise diagnosis of the disease, enable selection of optimal medications, their more precise dosing, respectively more effective and safe treatment and thus avoids the trial-error process. At the same time, however, the NHIF does not cover the cost of the genetic tests. We pay expensive medications without covering the tests needed to choose the patients who would need them.