There are so many things you discover when you actually have to go through any form of surgery or treatment that you probably didn’t have a clue about before. Well why would you?
Did you know that if you have a certain gene you have a greater risk of getting cancer?
There are two genes known as BRCA I and II (pronounced bracker). If you have either of these genes your risk of getting breast and/or ovarian cancer is increased by 45-90%. It’s more prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, which is why they’ll often ask you your ethnic origin.
If you have one or more female relatives who’ve had or died of either cancer, you’ll also be offered the test. It can be passed down to both men and women.
Some people don’t want to know and will still refuse the test even if they know they’re at risk. One mother I know has the BRCA gene but her daughter, who has young children doesn’t want to be tested – at least not at the moment.
Others will want to know, so that they can make a decision about their future.
Treatment can be fairly drastic but it could save your life.