Why I’m Glad I Tested Positive For A BRCA Mutation #BRCA

I know the title sounds crazy! -but hang in there and read.

Since, they were not aware of the BRCA or other cancer causing genetics a few years ago, we really don’t know how far this goes back in my family’s history or where it came from. My Grandfather tells me, others also were diagnosed in the family lines, but I cannot verify these.

This is the verified cancer history of our family:

My Great Aunts & Their Children

  • Great Aunt Nadeen -
    She was repeatedly diagnosed with cancer and as I’m told, spent most of her adult life bald, as a result of chemo and radiation.
  • Julie Baker
    She was Great Aunt Nadeen’s daughter.
  • Great Aunt Noreen -
    Repeatedly diagnosed with cancer with many rounds of surgery, chemo & radiation until it was terminal.
  • Great Aunt Judy -
    Diagnosed with breast cancer. Knowing her sisters’ history with cancer, she underwent a mastectomy and hysterectomy. She is the sole survivor out of three and now my Grandfather’s only living sibling. ( I personally idolize her for her courage and think she is my inspiration.)

My Immediate Family

  • Mother -
    • Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.
  • Mother’s only sister -
    • Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.

If you cannot see for yourself. Every single female on my Mother’s side, was diagnosed with cancer. Every. Single. One. 

They say this mutation is 50/50 when it comes to inheriting it, but I really don’t see how that happens. Unless my family is very unlucky.

What does a negative BRCA1 or BRCA2 test result mean? (Source)

How a negative test result will be interpreted depends on whether or not someone in the tested person’s family is known to carry a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. If someone in the family has a known mutation, testing other family members for the same mutation can provide information about their cancer risk. If a person tests negative for a known mutation in his or her family, it is unlikely that they have an inherited susceptibility to cancer associated with BRCA1 or BRCA2. Such a test result is called a “true negative.” Having a true negative test result does not mean that a person will not develop cancer; it means that the person’s risk of cancer is probably the same as that of people in the general population.

In cases in which a family has a history of breast and/or ovarian cancer and no known mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 has been previously identified, a negative test result is not informative. It is not possible to tell whether an individual has a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation that was not detected by testing (a “false negative”) or whether the result is a true negative. In addition, it is possible for people to have a mutation in a gene other than BRCA1 or BRCA2 that increases their cancer risk but is not detectable by the test(s) used.

If you didn’t read all that…

Basically, you can have a high probability of developing reproductive cancers, but can still test negative.

I would have been very suspicious of a negative result. Especially, since according to the Mayo Clinic, inherited BRCA gene mutations are only responsible for about 5 percent of breast cancers and about 10 to 15 percent of ovarian cancers.

There is still so much we don’t know and more genes that can be responsible for this horrible disease. I’m happy I tested positive for BRCA2. It helped me financially, to have the ability to choose whats right for me.

Even with a negative test result, it wouldn’t mean I wouldn’t be diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer in the next few years.

I was not attached to my breasts or uterus, okay maybe literally speaking, but not emotionally. I would rather have life than those any day.

By testing positive for this gene mutation and my insurance company covering prophylactic (preventive) mastectomies, they’re also required to cover the cost of reconstruction. Be sure to check out, Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA)

If you’re still here, I hope I helped you in becoming more informed.

Thanks for reading! ♥

Comments

  1. Hi Crystal. My family also have an alarmingly high death rate to cancer. I and both my siblings have BRCA1 (I’m waiting for surgery). My mum (also BRCA1) thought all 3 of us having it was really unlikely, but I think eventually scientists will discover differences within the BRCA1 (or BRCA2) camp. We already know the mutations happen at different places and they hadn’t seen our one before (it’s great to be special).
    Thank for the post,
    Lunar
    PS My thoughts on this stuff and other stuff on my blog :o).
    Lunar Hine recently posted..Success and FailureMy Profile

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