comscorehelenlouise's Story: Genetic Testing is a Missing Piece of the Puzzle in a Family's History

helenlouise's Story: Genetic Testing is a Missing Piece of the Puzzle in a Family's History

With a family history plagued by cancer, helenlouise awaits genetic testing.

helenlouise is a member of the Community.

I have an appointment for genetic counseling in early May [2018] after my oncologist requested for the counseling on my behalf. In Australia you can qualify for government funding. I would have paid if required. Not covered by my health insurance (hospital only).

I met the criteria because of my age (under 60), plus my diagnosis (triple negative), and my maternal grandmother (65) died of breast cancer.

The very interesting, yet profoundly sad, piece of the puzzle is a suggested link between melanoma and BRCA mutations, which the counselor mentioned. Both my father (67) and brother (50) died of melanoma. So I wonder is it possible that my breast cancer and my brother's melanoma could have come from our grandmother, our father, one to each or no link at all. The counselor did comment that familial melanoma can be coincidental.

Our family, like some, is plagued with cancer. My mother died just two years ago from lung cancer (86), my maternal cousin last year from sarcoma (59), my paternal aunt from non-Hodgkins lymphoma (77), my maternal cousin (64) is managing melanoma!

My reasoning behind pursuing the genetic counseling is two fold: 1. I believe more information is better than less, especially for our children. 2. Without the research we can't have the data; the more data the better quality the information.

Ps. It is nice to hear from Ashkenazi's. I had never heard of this term of lineage until I started researching triple-negative breast cancer.