"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Genetic Testing for breast cancer

I finally had my appointment with the genetic counselor today to discuss the possibility that my cancer was caused by a genetic mutation.  After they thoroughly reviewed my health history and family history they concluded that there is only a .4% chance that I would have a gene mutation.  Based on that probability, they have not recommended that I do the actual genetic test.  They usually only suggest the test if you are at a 10% risk with the probability test based on family and health history.  I guess that is good news.  I was fearful that I would have to tell my brother and sister that their young daughters would be at risk of breast cancer and have to be tested one day.  I can say finding this out it has been a relief.  I can't imagine having to tell them that knowing they have girls.  Another thing I found out is that if you have the gene it also makes boys in the family at a higher risk of other cancers too.  Being that I have a boy that freaked me out.  I guess I never really knew that - but then again there was so much I never knew before getting breast cancer that I know now. 

On another note, the medical oncologist that I met with today to discuss the BRCA tests was not my regular medical oncologist.  I had never met her before.  She could not believe that I had hair.  I told her about the cold caps and she told me she never had a patient actually keep their hair with them.  I don't know how that's possible if they are used correctly.  I know several ladies that kept their hair.  Now I am sure they won't work for everyone, but it seems that most of the people I have talked to that used them had success.  In fact when I went in to my regular medical oncology office for a blood draw I met a woman with a full head of thick hair that used them and finished just a few months ago.  Her hair was super thick...I was jealous!  My hair was not that thick before chemo!  It was nice though to see the medical oncologist just marvel that the caps worked and I had hair.  That made my day!  Cold caps do work!!!

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