Two weeks ago I had blood drawn and sent off to the lab to have genetic testing done to determine if the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene's were mutated resulting in my breast cancer. I just got a call today from the genetic counselor at the West Allis Women's Pavilion saying that they got the results and...THEY ARE NORMAL! This is good because my chances of getting ovarian cancer are slim to none, but still doesn’t answer the question, “How the hell did I get this then?"
Here are a few facts on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene:
· BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that belong to a class of genes known as tumor suppressors. Mutation of these genes has been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
· A woman's risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a deleterious (harmful) BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Men with these mutations also have an increased risk of breast cancer. Both men and women who have harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations may be at increased risk of other cancers.
· Genetic tests are available to check for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. A blood sample is required for these tests, and genetic counseling is recommended before and after the tests.
· If a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation is found, several options are available to help a person manage their cancer risk.
· Federal and state laws help ensure the privacy of a person’s genetic information and provide protection against discrimination in health insurance and employment practices.
· Many research studies are being conducted to find newer and better ways of detecting, treating, and preventing cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Additional studies are focused on improving genetic counseling methods and outcomes. Our knowledge in these areas is evolving rapidly.
There is a wealth of information at this site http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA regarding the genetic testing, results, what they are looking for, etc... if you or anyone you know may be interested!
After talking with the counselor, I decided that I still want more testing done to try to figure this out, so we decided that after I get my double mastectomy and I'm feeling better, they are going to take more blood, send it off to a different lab and have them do more testing. The testing does take a bit longer, but all I have it time and I am determined to figure this out!
Jokingly, I asked the genetic counselor if it could be caused from all the food I heat up in the microwave in tupperware. She said that isn't the case and she doesn't believe that I have been around long enough for my cancer to be caused environmentally or through anything that I have done. *sigh of relief* So I'll keep heating up my food in tupperware in the microwave! *less dishes=less stress*
Even though the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes came back normal, I am still confident in my decision to continue with the double mastectomy!
P.S: For anyone who hasn't heard, my eviction date for "the girls" is either July 24th or 25th and I will know more definitively next week!!
I do have to say it is a little weird that I have less than a month left with my boobs...
I'll keep you abreast of any news! :)