October 6, 2006, Newsletter Issue #36: Options for Women Who Test Positive for Breast Cancer Gene Mutations

Tip of the Week

If you have discovered that you carry a mutation in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene, what should your next step be? Instead of sending a sarcastic thank you note to your parents, asking your doctor's advice would be most beneficial. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information about breast cancer genes, and your risk for developing breast cancer. Having a mutated breast cancer gene does not mean you will get cancer. In the regard, there are preventive measures like taking tamoxifen (a preventive drug) that can be adopted. Even if you are eligible, this would be a major step to take, and is definitely not for everyone.

Many women settle on early screening procedures, like MRIs in place of traditional mammograms if you are young and your breasts are currently too dense for effective mammography. However, it is good to remember that breast cancer, even if you do get it, is a highly treatable disease.

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