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Emily Barnhard, Denver, CO



Age: 29

Being able to be proactive about the future of my health


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My journey

I had no idea there was a family history of breast and ovarian cancer until a little over 2 years ago. My aunt got the testing process started, and it was confirmed that our side of the family has the BRCA2 genetic mutation. Two of my aunts, a cousin, my mother and myself all tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation.

At 29 years old, I decided to have a mastectomy/reconstruction in August 2012. The surgery went off without a hitch and I am healing well. In December 2012, my mom had scheduled a surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. Once the tissue samples were sent off to pathology, they discovered cancer in her right fallopian tube. At this point, they completed a full hysterectomy. Her surgeon had never encountered this before!

Once the pathology results were back, it was discovered that my mom had Stage 2 Fallopian Cancer. She was VERY lucky it was discovered when it was. Normally, this type of cancer is caught when it's too late. My mom has completed 6 rounds of chemotherapy, and should be cancer-free the rest of her life.

As for me, I will obviously need to consider having my tubes/ovaries removed sooner rather than later. But I am so thankful for today's science and technology to be able to continue researching these cancer genes.


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