*This article originally appeared in Kveller.
When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, BRCA became a commonly used term in our family. Sometimes called the “breast cancer genes,” BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two separate but related genes that can carry hereditary mutations. Though they are most commonly (and mistakenly) associated only with breast and ovarian cancer in women, the reality is these mutations increase the risk of breast, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer, as well as melanoma.
In other words, the BRCA mutation can affect anyone.
My wife’s oncologist suggested genetic testing to see if she had a BRCA mutation, which has a 50% chance of being passed from parent to child. With two adult daughters and an adult son, our anxieties about the test results were high. We breathed a sigh of relief when we discovered that my wife was not only mutation-free, but that her cancer could be treated with a lumpectomy, radiation and cancer-fighting medications. We thought we were in the clear with regard to cancer.
Read the full article by FORCE volunteer Brad Hertz, here.