I developed breast cancer at age 36. My surgeon at Johns Hopkins recommended a radical mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation. I had the mastectomy on my 37th birthday in 1990. At that time he did not recommend reconstruction because it might mask a recurrence. My mother had had breast cancer at age 40 and survived cancer-free for 42 more years. So when I developed another primary cancer in the other breast at age 50 I assumed I got it from her. I had another mastectomy but it was caught early so I had no further treatment.
But my first cousin from New Orleans (on my father's side of the family) got breast cancer and had the genetic testing done. She was positve for the BRCA1 as was one of her sisters. She encouraged me to get tested but I put it off until this year. I had a comprehensive test done and I was positive for the same mutation that she had. So I am having my ovaries removed in November.
This was good for me but sadder news is that my daughter who is 31 was tested (the day after I watched "In the Family"!) She is also positive. She is married but has no children. We have an appointment with my oncologist to discuss her options. I am so sorry she has to make the decisions about what to do, but she tells me she is glad she knows. I pray that she never gets cancer and that she makes the right decisions.
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