My BRCA Story

My reason for writing this entire post is to bring y’all awareness to getting genetic testing done if someone in your family (aunt, grandmother, mother, cousins, etc.) has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer.  Because of a family history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, several of my family members tested positive for the BRCA-2 mutation.  I took the test in March 2022 and found out I was positive for BRCA-2.  Testing positive for this mutation greatly increases my risk for breast and ovarian cancer.  Genetic testing used to cost a lot more to have the bloodwork done, but now it’s around $250.  And I think insurance covers it in many cases.

After my positive test for the BRCA-2 mutation, it was recommended to have a preventative double mastectomy and a hysterectomy by a certain age.  My first steps were to make calls.  I scheduled an appointment with a breast oncologist, oncological gynecologist, and a plastic surgeon.  To sum everything up, over the past year I had the double mastectomy, implants, and ovaries and fallopian tubes removed instead of a hysterectomy because I had previously had a uterine ablation.  My children will be tested at a later age, probably in their twenties.

To reiterate, I feel like this is relatively new to test for the BRCA gene mutation so easily without a hefty price tag.  But if you know someone in your family that was diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, I’d highly recommend doing the simple bloodwork.  You have no idea how much it could change your life!

From the CDC:

All women have BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but only some women have mutations in those genes.  About 1 in every 500 women in the United States has a mutation in either her BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

About 50 out of 100 women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation will get breast cancer by the time they turn 70 years old, compared to only 7 out of 100 women in the general United States population.

About 30 out of 100 women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation will get ovarian cancer by the time they turn 70 years old, compared to fewer than 1 out of 100 women in the general U.S. population.

There are many factors on deciding which surgeries to have and when.  If you test positive, I’d schedule your appointments as soon as possible so you’ll know your next steps.  But your first step is to take action and get your bloodwork taken.  It’s so simple and could prolong your life!

Feel free to email me or comment here if you have any questions.  I’m happy to help answer them as best as I can.

My Surgical Experiences and The Most Incredible Female Doctors

If you’re squeamish, you have been warned.  But I honestly didn’t share anything too gross, I just want to give those of you a better visual of what’s entailed with all of these surgeries.

Double Mastectomy // Salpingo-Oophorectomy // Breast Reconstruction Surgery