What led you to doing the testing?
"My grandmother died of ovarian cancer at age 48. My mother was diagnosed with DCIS at age 62. Sometime after that she learned she is BRCA2 positive. At age 79, she was diagnosed with ILC, stage III. That seemed like a lot of cancer in a small number of people. I wanted to know if cancer was stalking me."
What were your results?
"I tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation. (I also have a Variation of Unknown Significance on STK11.)"
What choices have you made based on the findings?
"I was told my risk for ovarian cancer is 40%-44% and my risk for breast cancer is 60%-87%. I didn't want to wait for cancer to get me. I had bilateral prophylactic salpingo-oopherectomy and bilateral prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction.
"My surgery was November, 2015. I got my pathology report. Everything removed was benign. However, there were many areas of hyperplasia in both my breasts. I feel that I had surgery before my breasts had a chance to turn cancerous."
Was payment an issue?
"My insurance covered the testing and the surgery, with the usual copayments and deductible. Payment was not an issue."
How have you discussed these decisions with your family?
"I have discussed this with my spouse, my siblings, my parents, and my uncle. I have not discussed this with my children who are minors each with their own special needs."
What suggestions would you have for others?
"Ask, ask, ask! Ask for genetic counseling and ask if genetic testing is needed. If you are positive, ask for treatment recommendations. Being positive for a genetic mutation is not a death sentence but an opportunity. You have options: increased surveillance, chemo-prevention, and surgery. You can be proactive and fight cancer before it even starts."
-- Mominator, tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation