On May 14, 2013, Angelina Jolie publicly shared her decision to undergo bilateral mastectomies. In a New York Times Opinion piece, Jolie shared her feelings about the loss of her mother impacted her decision.
I was first diagnosed with BC in 2003. In 2013, aa month after Jolie made her announcement I was diagnosed again. Genetic testing showed I did indeed carry the BRCA1 gene. My two daughters also were tested and positive. So was my sister. I underwent a radical mastectomy - I didn't want to risk a third round.
In December of last year my oldest daughter was diagnosed at the age of 34. She had the surgery 7/12. Her younger sister who had had several scares opted to have to surgery 9/14. We are all now devoid of breasts but can live a much more relaxed existence knowing that we no longer have to have the constant stress of mammograms and MRI's; always filled with off the charts anxiety about the results.
It's only my opinion but I think that anyone who receives the diagnosis of BRCA should strongly consider surgical intervention. It's not an easy decision, I get that. Losing ones breasts is traumatic however, cancer is much more so - and one never knows what type, how advanced, what stage and type. Triple negative is common in Ashkenazi Jewish women and that is a more aggressive cancer. Of course you know this.
I miss having breasts instead of uncomfortable implants but I am here to see all the joys in life which I may not have given the alternative choice. I aam very lucky that both times it was caught relatively early and treated accordingly.
Definitely good to keep awareness of this issue, so thank you.
Your piece is so important. I inherited a genetic mutation that caused my blood cancer (MDS) from my father. My son also carries the mutation. But of course there's no prophylactic treatment. However getting regular screenings can keep us informed in case the mutation begins to misbehave. Knowledge is power.