Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Early Detection of Fibroid in Ghana Based on a New Gene Mutation





In Ghana our attention is constantly being drawn to the issue of fibroid through the many radio and television advertisements, claiming mainly unproven treatments for fibroid. While data on the prevalence rate of fibroid is not readily available, a cursory assessment of the rate of discussions on the issue in the media suggests a significantly high levels in Ghana.

Fibroid can affects the ability of a woman to bear children and it occurs at many sites and in different sizes in the uterus. Like many other tumors, early detection is key to effective treatment. Many women only became aware of the existence of fibroid when they take a scan, by which stage the size would have become too big to allow uncomplicated treatment.

A recent discovery by scientist in the US state of  Illinois, at the Northwestern University  Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital provides a key to early detection of fibroid. A single gene called MED12 carries a mutation which when present in a stem cell of the uterus can initiate the fibroid tumor. Those interested in more
details can look at this link: 
(http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0036935) 

This means that the presence of this specific defective gene can predict who is likely to develop a fibroid at some stage of their life. The great opportunity presented by this discovery is that young girls or women can go in for a test to determine
the type of MED12 gene they carry. 

In a recent seminar, I have learnt of a laboratory in Ghana called City of Hope Medical Complex and Research Center. They conduct genetic testing covering diseases such as sickle cell anemia as well as paternity and forensic DNA testing.  While I do not claim that they presently offer MED12 testing, their presence in Ghana means that the requisite expertise exist to ensure that those interested in this early detection opportunity can have one.

I hope you find this information helpful. Timely information can be a life saver.

Thank you
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Patrick Kobina Arthur (PhD),

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