Free breast cancer checks for gold card holders: govt

Free breast cancer checks for gold card holders: govt

Dr Athaporn Limpanyalers
Dr Athaporn Limpanyalers

The National Health Security Office (NHSO) on Saturday approved free breast cancer screening for women universal healthcare card holders with immediate family members who have had the condition.

Dr Athaporn Limpanyalers, NHSO's deputy secretary-general, said the board has approved checks for the mutated BRCA1/BRCA2 gene for free for members of the gold card scheme. Announcements regarding other welfare benefits will follow.

"Doctors will evaluate the risks and suitability of patients for the service. Patients can ask the doctor for additional information regarding their entitlement; however, any diagnosis will be made based on the guidelines," he said, adding the benefit could save lives by increasing the number of early interventions in cancer cases.

If a mutated gene is confirmed in a patient, his or her direct relatives will also be offered free screening under the universal healthcare scheme.

There are 69 units nationwide equipped to collect samples, and seven centres qualified to check for the mutated BRCA1/BRCA2 gene.

He added the NHSO has been working closely with local cancer units to promote easier access to the service.

In Thailand, breast cancer is the number one cancer found in Thai women.

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