My sister and I had genetic testing together in September 2016, after our cousin received the first diagnosis of familial breast cancer in our large family. We both tested positive for the BRCA2 gene, and just a month later my sister was found to have early-stage breast cancer at her breast screening. The following month I had my initial breast screening, and I started to think more about coping with my higher risk and the long-term increased monitoring, and how I would feel should I receive a breast cancer diagnosis. So, I decided to have risk-reducing surgeries, starting with an oophorectomy in December 2016, and then a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction in October 2017, both enormously difficult decisions and the right ones. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to make my own decisions about my future and to be able to significantly reduce my cancer risk.
A message from Carol
I joined Pink Hope soon after my BRCA2 diagnosis, and it is a fantastic resource in every way for those of us with increased risk of familial cancers. A question asked in a simple Facebook post can provide so much invaluable first-hand information. A huge thank you to the organisation and all the members for their ongoing support, their experiences and their love. It is so comforting to know that we don’t walk this path alone.