I have a BRCA mutation. And I have chosen to do surveillance for my breast cancer risk. Unlike our famous genetic compatriot Angelina Jolie, I am not having a prophylactic mastectomy (PBM). It is an individual decision, one that isn’t easy for anyone. Life situation, family matters, age, tolerance for uncertainty. All those factors and more play a part. There is no one “right choice.” And we all need to support one another in the process.
Many BRCA+ women are on the same breast surveillance path that I am treading, the majority in fact, though you might never know it by reading the media coverage. Or even by attending a support meeting or going online, forums where PBM seems to be the assumed norm. I know I have lots of sisters out there getting mammograms and breast MRI’s like clockwork, but I haven’t met many of them. Yet. Looking forward to it. And I hope to give voice to that perspective here at Elevated Risk.
Ovarian cancer is a huge piece of the BRCA+ puzzle but it often gets ignored, swamped by the pink tide of breast cancer. For example, many news reports incorrectly stated that Angelina’s mother died of breast cancer. No. It was ovarian cancer. Which also killed President Obama’s mother. And struck my mother as well – though she is still alive and currently has no evidence of disease. I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, since the screening for ovarian cancer is not very effective. I want to keep the spotlight on both main pieces of the BRCA Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) picture.
Welcome to Elevated Risk.