Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Angelina Jolie, BRCA mutation and reality...

In a NY Times Op Ed, Angelina Jolie announced that she underwent a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of cancer. Her mother had ovarian cancer and it was discovered that she carried the faulty BRCA1 gene mutation, which increased Angelina's chances of having breast and ovarian cancer.

I may be in the same boat once mom finds out if she has the gene mutation. She was told that there is an increased chance that she may be a BRCA carrier now that another family member was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Mom had the consultation last week and had the test done on Monday. It will take a few weeks to hear about the results.

I have decided not to worry about the results until the results are known. But the reality is, now after reading Ms. Jolie's editorial, that I may have to look at preventative measures, because I do know that I do not want to go through chemotherapy and have to live my life with cancer in my body. My mom has done a great job at living with cancer, and I feel that she will live for many more years and be able to enjoy great-grandchildren someday. But cancer has also taken its toll and has at times made my mom feel powerless against the disease. At least in some way, once the test results are known, I can put some power back in our hands to prevent my chances of developing cancer down the road.

I know now that the ovarian cancer discussion will move to the forefront because of Angelina sharing her experience... and maybe more people will be motivated to find an early detection test or better yet a sure-fire cure. Experiences are worth sharing - and I have learned from other bloggers and ovarian cancer survivors that the more we talk, the better the chance for others.

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