Monday, September 21, 2015

BRCA Awareness Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer


Editor's Note:  This post is intended to address common misperceptions about BRCA testing. It should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice and readers should communicate directly with your treatment teams about your health concerns and for specific treatment options. MBE partnered with AstraZeneca for this post

For the second year in a row I'm participating in spreading the word about something that potentially can save many lives. Especially with Ovarian Cancer Month in September and Breast Cancer Month starting in October, this message couldn't be more timely. I'm referring to BRCA gene awareness and the importance of testing because I have breast cancer in my family and my own children have a genetic connection to it on both sides. 

The BRCA gene mutation which affects women is typically associated with BReast CAncer. However, it's also essential females be knowledgeable that BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations also show up in a significant number of ovarian cancer cases. In fact, approximately 15% of women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer also are found to have BRCA.

Contrary to common public misperceptions, though, it's not only those of us with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer or females who contract these life-threatening diseases at an early age who should be tested. Particularly in ovarian cancer patients, family history and age have proven to be poor predictors of the presence of BRCA. Almost half (47%) of BRCA- positive ovarian cancer patients have no significant family history of either that disease or breast cancer. 

Furthermore the American Cancer Society estimates more than 21,000 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year in 2015 and that every woman risks a 1 in 73 chance of developing ovarian cancer at some point in their lives. What's more is that ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system and too many times it's diagnosed after it's too late because symptoms mirror everyday minor illnesses.

That is why it cannot be stressed enough that every woman whether they are more likely to develop ovarian cancer or not should educate herself about BRCA testing which simply involves a blood or saliva sample taken at your physician's office or a local lab with results coming back in 2 to 3 weeks.

Learn More about #beBRCAware ...

Visit the official site as well as follow the #beBRCAware campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. 

... And Share What You've Learned

Don't just keep this message about the importance of BRCA testing to yourself. Talk about it with the ones you love: your family and friends and encourage them to spread the word to their own circles and community.

FTC Disclosure: I received compensation from AstraZeneca in partnership with SheSpeaks to facilitate this story. However, opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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