Sunday, January 26, 2014

Breaking the BRCA Code


BRCA1 sequencing IVS5-11T>G

And that is my own personal code which roughly translates into " Dixie, You're In Deep Doo-Doo"

Of course by the time I learned this, I had already been diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian cancer.
My mother died from the same, never knowing if she carried this genetic mutation.
I believe my younger sister Beth, was aware when she passed from breast  cancer in 2010.
I don't know if my sister Jan, who is a Breast cancer survivor has ever been tested. Entirely her choice.

People do ask me "Why get tested if you already know you have cancer?" I tell them them this.
"Do it for your children and their children". "Empower them with the knowledge to make informed decisions."
 Now had I known that I was BRCA+,  would it have made a difference?
Well I can't say for sure.
I can't say that I would have ran out and had my ovaries removed when I was say, in my 30's.
I presently have no plans to have a prophylactic double mastectomy.
That may change.

My point is,
I did not have this information.
Do I blame my mother? Hell no. This testing wasn't even around when she was diagnosed.
If it had been, considering the long history of cancer in our family, you can bet she would have been first in line.

I myself,  can not imagine harboring the slightest possibility that I passed on this gene,
without arming my children with this information.
They are able to make informed choices for themselves,
and hopefully future generations will benefit as well.

Have a marvelous day,
Love, Dixie

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