If these genes mutate, then one is considered as having a hereditary risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The BRCAI and BRCA2 mutation means that a woman has an increased risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer before menopause. Sometimes close family members were diagnosed with cancer at an early age also. These harmful mutations also increase the risk of cervical, colon, uterine. stomach, melanoma and gallbladder cancer. There are no standard criteria for who should be tested for the BRCA gene mutation, but if you have family members who have had cancer, It is a deflnlte clue.
If any of these family members were young; before menopause, it is a good idea to think about being testing for the ene. It would be a very good idea to ask the family member to test for the BRCA mutation, so that the rest of the family members would know ahead of time also. According the National Cancer Institute, the risk of having the mutation is higher if you are of Ashkenazlc Jewish descent. If this Is the case, pay attenuon to If a parent or sibling has been diagnosed with cancer.
Also, find out if any grandparents, half- siblings, nieces or nephews had cancer. Pay special attention to relatives that are male, and whether the relative had cancer in both breasts (bilateral breast cancer,) nd a combination of two or more first or second degree relatives diagnosed with ovarian cancer, no matter what their age was when diagnosed. If you have been diagnosed with the BRCAI or BRCA2 gene mutation, you are really in need of support from family and friends.
Some people turn to the national advocacy group called Bright Pink. This organization is specifically geared to young women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Many young women are relieved to find out that they are not the only one suffering alone. Having a list of Advocacy groups is lifesaving because once you know; you understand what you must do. The protocol for women with the BRCA mutations is to do nothing until the age of 25 and after that begin a screening regimen between mammograms, ultrasound and a MRI every six months.
At age 35 a woman is advised to consider a double mastectomy followed by a complete oophorectomy (removal of one or both ovaries) at age 40. The solution to the BRCAI and BRCA2 gene mutations is hard to do, but you can still live your life after having a mastectomy and an oophorectomy. Most women are done bearing and nursing their children by the time they are in their mid-30’s. Mothers then want to be round to raise their children, they want to be around to see their grandchildren born and they want to live their life with their mate.