I’ve known about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing for quite some time now. Recently, Angelina Jolie made this breast/ovarian cancer hereditary gene screening super famous by coming out and sharing her results, and her decisions about the results, with us.
I love that she did that. It’s great when people can be so open about something personal because it sheds light on subjects that we are often in the dark about. (Also this totally makes up for the whole Billy-Bob-Thorton-blood-necklace bit.)
When we share our stories, there’s always the possibility of helping someone find their own way. I love being a helper. I believe it’s one of the reasons that I’m here in the first place. In fact, I believe it’s one of the reasons that we are all here in the first place.
Here’s the dealio - If you have a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer then you might, might, carry a gene that can predict the percentage as to how likely you are to possibly get the disease yourself.
The Mayo Clinic offers this guidance to women and men:
(I checked off the ones that are true for me.)
You might be at increased risk of having a BRCA gene mutation — and a candidate for BRCA gene testing — if you have:
The reason why I haven’t had the test yet is simply because of good old fashioned… fear. Not just fear of the results but fear of the “now what?” part of it. because what if it is a yes? What can I do about it?
We know what Angelina did. Would I do that? Last night, at dinner, I broached the subject with my boobs. To my surprise, they were both very willing to discuss it, if it were to come to that. Since their stellar appearance in Good Luck Chuck (not two, but three! The left one twice, for you trivia boob buffs.) Since then, they have retired from show business and are enjoying a quiet life, out of the spotlight.
Anyhow, I suppose we will all just have to cross that bridge, if we come to it.
Maybe there are things to do if it’s a ‘yes.’ Maybe there’s an experimental something or other that will come around to help women with this gene mutation. Maybe more MRIs and ultrasounds would be in order. Drugs? Herbs? Maybe by the time the results come in there’s a cure! Ya never know.
For those with a strong family history, and insurance, the cost of the test itself is covered. But what about all the steps one would take if the results are positive? Is any of that covered? I don’t know. One step at a time.
And my descion that I made while writing this article (I often make decisions midst writing. It’s my super cheap form of therapy) … what I’ve decided to do for myself…
this first step that I will now take… will be….
to take the freakin’ test.
Because, for me, it is far scarier to not know a thing then it is to know a thing.
I really enjoy the knowing.
I’ll keep you posted.
Love and Peace,