OPERA – an online risk assessment tool for familial breast cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support’s OPERA (Online Personal Education and Risk Assessment) is the UK’s first interactive software porgram to offer personalised support and information for people concerned about an inherited risk of breast cancer. OPERA is based on guidance issued by NICE to the NHS on assessing a woman’s risk of having familial or hereditary breast cancer.

The program can be accessed at www.macmillan.org.uk/opera It can assist doctors and practice nurses with patients who come to them with concerns about breast and/or ovarian cancer occurring in the family. The health professional may wish to direct the patients to the program (either at home or alongside the practice nurse) and request that they return for a further appointment with the ‘Personal Assessment’ provided by OPERA. The Assessment can then be used to help doctor and patient discuss the appropriateness of onward referral.

The program is not intended to take the place of professional genetic counselling services, but rather be complementary to such services. It will help individuals planning to consult their GP or local genetic services to identify the relevant information they need to form the basis of an accurate risk assessment, and it will provide individuals support and signpost them to further sources of help and information.

Further information is available from:
Karen Watson, Macmillan Cancer Support, Genetics Information Officer, 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ
Telephone: 020 7091 2202