BRCA Gene Mutation – Part 3

Well, I was kind of hoping there wouldn’t be a Part 3 of this…I wasn’t going to bore you anymore with BRCA talk, but I got the results back  from gene testing, and I do have a BRCA1 gene mutation.

This does not come as a surprise to me.  The doctors and the geneticist prepared us for the high probability of a positive test for the gene mutation.

I have been comforted by Psalm 139 as I’ve awaited these results, particularly these verses:

13 For You formed my inward parts;
         You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
         Marvelous are Your works,
         And that my soul knows very well.

So, let’s put this into perspective.  Current statistics show that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.  However, if a woman has a BRCA mutation she has at least a 1 in 2 chance of developing breast cancer (and generally-speaking, it is an earlier occurring cancer than in the general population).

The mutation is a game-changer for me, my siblings, my children, and many of my relatives.

For me:

  • Chance of cancer recurrence in other breast *by age 79* = >50%
  • Chance of ovarian cancer = *around 45%  at most and some reporting shows around a 15% chance if you’ve already had breast cancer*

So then, I opt for:

  • Bilateral mastectomy, NOW (when chemo is finished) and
  • Possible ovary removal by 40 years old as there is no reliable screening method for ovarian cancer in early stages
For first degree female relatives of myself and my mom:
  • Immediate genetic testing
  • Clinical breast exam every six months + mammogram every year OR prophylactic mastectomy *IF they test positive for the gene*
For first degree male relatives of myself and my mom:
  • Genetic testing to follow (there is a 50% chance they also carry the mutation)
  • If BRCA positive, any of their offspring will also be tested, as there is also then a 50% chance that their child has the mutation
  • Additionally, there is an increased risk of male breast cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer, so enhanced screening for these cancers.

*Thanks to the Duke Hereditary Cancer office for helping me make these important    corrections/distinctions that were inaccurate in my original  post!!*


About Candace

Stay at home mom of three small kids (3, 2, and almost 1) -- about to embark on the biggest journey of my life.
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2 Responses to BRCA Gene Mutation – Part 3

  1. Pingback: I’m Back! | Great is Thy Faithfulness

  2. Pingback: Praise Report – BRCA 1 – Part 4 | Great is Thy Faithfulness

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