BRCA1 Awareness & Help me to save lives
I have decided to write this post to try and help save lives
My name is Donna Crowther, 15 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and a reconstruction followed by chemotherapy. I was put into remission for 13 years. 2 years ago, I was diagnosed yet again with breast cancer. I had another mastectomy and reconstruction. The doctors at City Hospital, Birmingham decided to do a genetic test. I was positive for BRCA1, in my terminology this means, I have a broken gene that cannot fight cancer. After much discussion with the doctors, I decided to have a hysterectomy to prevent ovarian cancer. Unfortunately for me, they found cancer in my fallopian tubes.I was due to have 8 cycles of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, I was only able to have 2 rounds due to my bone marrow becoming weak from the chemotherapy I had 15 years ago.
Over the next 2 years, I had regular scans and blood tests. Unfortunately my cancer has now come back in my liver and bowels. I am going to have an operation to remove the cancer and they have agreed to try a couple of rounds of chemotherapy, unfortunately my operation was unsuccessful to remove the cancer, so I now have to rely on chemotherapy.Over my 15 years in cancer wards, I have often spoken to people about their cancer and I always ask them if they have had a genetic test. I am still amazed at how many people have cancer in their family and they still haven’t had a genetic test. If you have a Mom, Nan or relation with cancer, ask for a genetic test. If you are tested for BRCA1/2, you can have the option for more screening and it could save your life.
Science has come on in leaps and bounds with genes testing and I believe there are more people being tested now than ever.My BRCA1 is rare. I have no one in my family who has BRCA1, not even my parents. There are usually some family members who have BRCA1 in the family. So as you can see, my case is rare, hence I wasn’t offered a genetic test 15 years ago.