Posted on: Aug 11, 2010 12:58AM, edited Aug 11, 2010 01:30AM by straykat
My Mom passed away from b/c in 1985 at the age of 72; her mother developed b/c at the age of 90 (!) but didn't require treatment; my paternal grandmother had b/c in the 1940s, was treated with 'nuclear' (as my onc called it) rads and lived until age 85 when she passed away from heart disease. I was diagnosed in 2005 and passed the five year mark without recurrence a few months ago. My daughter was understandably concerned about her chances so I had the testing done (didn't want a potentially bad outcome to interfere with her future career).
I had the testing done at UCSF (University of California at San Francisco). The counseling portion was very thorough and I enjoyed working with the counselor. For those of us who are children or grandchildren of immigrants who never saw a doctor until they hit Ellis Island, Miami or Nuevo Laredo, there is no history earlier than grandparents. (My maternal grandmother's parents died of childbirth and shipwreck; most of the early deaths in their fishing villages were of the same causes.) At the end of the counseling appointment I had a simple blood draw. The counselor said we'd meet in about six weeks with the results. She also stated that because the b/c patients in my family were in their 60s (including me) or older, with the exception of one grandmother in her mid to late 40s, that I most likely did not carry the gene; they find it predominately in women under 40-45.
She was right and I tested negative for both BRCA 1 & 2. My daughter was extremely happy but was cautioned that testing is not a perfect science and that her risk was a few percentaqe points higher than anyone who no record whatsoever of b/c in the family. Testing in 2010 is probably more primitive than it will be in 2020 and later.
We breathed a sigh of relief and life goes on.
The cost to me was only around $150; insurance (Health Net) covered about $3500. Having been a b/c patient, I had no trouble getting approved for the procedure.
Hope this helps someone!
I forgot to mention that the geneticist said that my cancer diagnosis put me in the same category as the 1 in 8 American women who in nature's crapshoot, develop b/c. Sometimes everything doesn't happen for a reason....Log in to post a reply