Wow, you guys! I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of interest, support, and love from all of you. It’s been a humbling couple of days. You all have encouraged me to continue sharing.
More importantly, I received a ton of questions. I will try to answer them all in upcoming blogs. The majority of questions were something like: “How do I know if I have BRCA?” “How do I get tested?
Before I continue if you have any questions about whether or not you should be tested for a specific gene – whether it’s for BRCA or colon cancer, etc., contact your local genetic counselor. I’m trying to share as accurate (and humorous) perspective, but:
1. I’m not a doctor
2. Medicine is always advancing
3. Everyone is different
“Do I have BRCA?” There are many factors to consider. For me, it was simple. My grandma on my mom’s side had breast cancer. Then one of my aunt’s got breast cancer shortly after. They both tested positive. My mom was tested and found positive. So, it only made sense I should be tested.
IF your parent has BRCA, you have a 50/50 chance of having it too! We haven’t had much luck in my family because ALL 3 of my grandma’s children (all female) have it.
See if you have any of these 8 Risk Factors (MEN CAN HAVE BRCA TOO):
“How do I get tested?” If you have any of the risk factors, you should contact a genetic counselor to discuss your options.
Don’t be like me and not have a plan. Prepare for your conversation by asking yourself: Do I want to know? What will I do with the Information?
Luckily, if you meet the criteria, your insurance will cover your testing. If you don’t meet the criteria, the cost is significant. I read somewhere, it could cost up to $4,000.
What if I have BRCA? Will my kids have it? If you have BRCA, you have a 50/50 chance of passing it on to each of your children. From what I know, it isn’t recommended children be tested until they are 18 years old. Not sure why? But it is a huge burden to give a kid.
I hope this helps relieve any anxiety you have after reading my first post. If you do have BRCA, the good news is there are many so many options for you!
Do you have a BRCA story to share? Leave it in the comments section or email me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org