Hey! I’m Elizabeth, and I’m 21-years-old. I just recently found out that I have the BRCA2 gene mutation. Those of you who have had or are currently battling breast or ovarian cancer might know about this.
For those of you who don’t know, the BRCA 1 & 2 genes are something we all have. They actually lower the risk of getting breast, ovarian, pancreatic, skin and (for men) prostate cancer. For those of us with a mutation or deletion in the gene, our chances of getting breast cancer before the age of 30 are around 85% or higher. The chance of getting ovarian cancer before you’re 40 is 65% or higher. There is also an increased risk for other cancers, such as pancreatic and skin cancer.
I’m going to go see a breast oncologist with Smilow Cancer Genetics and Prevention in November to discuss preventative surgery within the next 3 years. This means around the time I turn 23, I’m going to be faced with the decision to have my breast tissue removed. Around the age of 35, I’m going to have to decide whether I want to have my ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed to prevent ovarian cancer.
I know this sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to fight like a girl before it’s a life or death situation. Everyone here is an inspiration for me in this tough time, and I want to thank you all and congratulate you on your success and send my love to those who are still fighting. I wish you all had 10 years to prepare for what is happening to you, so I’m trying to spread the word to get tested for the BRCA 1 & 2 gene mutation. Tell your brothers and sisters, your daughters, your nieces, your sons and your nephews. These gene mutations can also affect men, raising their chances of male breast cancer from .07% to 7%.
I love all of you, and I wish you all the best. Please spread the word!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.