Cancer. It’s always in the back of my mind. I’m not really sure if anyone n our family has died of anything, but cancer. I try to do my best, eat right, wear sunblock and exercise. I have a yearly pap smear and mammogram. I’ve even had a colonoscopy. Besides being vigilant about testing, I just found out that there is something else I can do. I can be tested for the BRCA gene. Read on:
What is a BRCA gene?
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes involved with cell growth, cell division, and cell repair. Although they are most commonly associated with Breast Cancer, approximately 15% of women with ovarian cancer also have BRCA gene mutations.
5 Facts about the BRCA Gene:
- Women with BRCA gene mutations have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.4
- In the general population, 1.4 percent4 of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, while up to 40 percent of women with BRCA 1/2 mutations will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime.5
- An estimated 15% of ovarian cancers are linked to BRCA mutations.1,2
- BRCA gene mutations can play a key role in serous ovarian cancer, the most common form of ovarian cancer.6
- Nearly one half of women with ovarian cancer who are BRCA-positive have no significant family history of breast or ovarian cancer.7
Who Should Be Tested?
Clinical practice guidelines recommend that all women with epithelial ovarian cancer be considered for BRCA testing3. The test is simple and easy. A blood or saliva sample can be taken at your physician’s office or at a local lab. Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance carriers cover BRCA testing for women with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Certain mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 can affect how you and your physician choose to manage ovarian cancer.
Are you or do you know a woman diagnosed with or at risk for ovarian cancer? Please visit myocjourney.com, which provides information about diagnosis, BRCA gene testing, treatment plans, and support networks that may be helpful to you and other women now and can help alert more women to what they need to know about BRCA and ovarian cancer.
Staying positive and having a good support system in place can help with the healing. Visit these social networks to learn more:
1. Pal T, Permuth-Wey J, Betts JA, et al. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for a large proportion of ovarian carcinoma cases. Cancer. 2005;104(12):2807-2816.
2. National Cancer Institute. BRCA1 and BRCA2: Cancer risk and genetic testing. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA. Accessed June 2, 2014.
3. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian. Version 4;2013.2
4. National Cancer Institute. BRCA1 and BRCA 2: Cancer risk and genetic testing. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA. Last Accessed: October 30, 2014.
5. Petrucelli N, et al.,1998 Sep 4 [Updated 2013 Sep 26]. In: Pagon RA, Adam MP, Bird TD, et al., editors. GeneReviews [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2014.
6. Wang ZC, et al. Profiles of genomic instability in high-grade serous ovarian cancer predict treatment outcome. Clin Cancer Res. 2012;18:5806-5815.
7. Song H., The contribution of deleterious germline mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 and the mismatch repair genes to ovarian cancer in the population. Human Molecular Genetics 2014;23(17):4703-4709.
Disclosure: I received $150 from AstraZeneca, and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience. This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/AstraZeneca.