"If it is not diagnosed in time then they will die because of the disease" said Kari Stefansson today. Kari points out that deCode could find both men and women who are carriers of the mutated BRCA2 gene right away, in his database, but to perform such a search a permission from the Data Protection Authority is required, and the society also will have to be willing to allow this. Around 2400 Icelanders have the mutated BRCA2 gene that highly increases the chances of cancer.
Kari said that he has tried to make the healthcare authorities understand the problem and that he has explained his point of view. He thinks that the women should be contacted and that they should be offered to be under close observation. "I am certain that it is possible to a prevent premature death for this group of women". He also said that the women could undergo a similar procedure like Angelina Jolie did recently.
Around 5 to 10 Icelandic women have chosen to have their breasts removed in recent years to decrease their chances of getting breast cancer. The women were diagnosed as BRCA1 or BRCA2 carriers. It should be noted that breast cancer is only hereditary with 10% chances.
Kari points out that Icelanders are the only nation in the world where you can find all those who have this mutation right away, simply by looking in the database. "As an old fashion doctor I think that we have an ethical duty to contact this people" said Kari and he said that when it a matter of life and death everything must be done to save the individuals. He added that deCode would look at this as public service to repay the society that made it possible for the company to make its discoveries.