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A group for survivors. Tell your stories and discuss your plans.

Genetic risk of cancer (9 posts)

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 1 month ago:

    I am the family face:
    Flesh perishes, I live on,
    Projecting trait and trace
    Through time to times anon,
    And leaping from place to place
    Over oblivion.
    — Thomas Hardy
    ‘Heredity’. In James Gibson (ed.), The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy (1976), 434.

    Our genes determine so much about us: what we look like, how our bodies function, and even if we get cancer. Some genes have an 85% risk of getting cancer over a person’s lifetime. And if one family member has it, half of other family members are like to carry this gene and pass it on to their kids.

    We had a discussion this week on the doctors dilemma in letting patients know this news and how best to help them tell other members of their families that they are at risk for cancer and there are tried and true cancer prevention steps that can be taken. We had a number of different experiences. Everything from patients who didn’t want to know the result to patients who went to great lengths to let the rest of the family know.

    So as a cancer survivor, would you want to know if you had a bad gene that gave you your cancer? Would you share it with family members? Why or why not?

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 1 month ago:

    From the Facebook Page:
    Wendy Werley Petrohoy Absolutely. I had genetic testing at diagnosis and again last year with testing not previously available. It was negative but good to know for my daughter.

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years, 1 month ago:

    From the Facebook page:
    Kathleen Parichy Dent Absolutely yes! My sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer (in the family so not a surprise, but oh so scary) she will have genetic testing done and so will the rest of the sisters too!

  • Profile picture of Cathy Schuyler Cathy Schuyler said 6 years, 1 month ago:

    Being smack in the middle of this issue I would have to say I feel empowered to take steps to help save my own life. Having already had ovarian cancer and melanoma I took Dr. B’s advice and got tested. With the positive BRCA-1 result I forged ahead with prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and feel a sense of peace and assurance that I won’t have to deal with breast cancer too. My sister has been tested (negative) and I’m still working on my two brothers, one of whom has a son so it’s important to determine if he has the mutation. We know how men are when it comes to going to the doctor so I guess we’ll see what happens.

  • Profile picture of Lyn Smith Lyn Smith said 6 years, 1 month ago:

    I think people have a right to know whatever information is available that may impact on them. This gives them the opportunity and empowers them to make informed decisions. Too often decisions are made by someone else about what we need to know or what is right for us without any consultation with us.
    Even if someones decides they dont want to know any more, or dont want to act on that information, it becomes their choice and their responsibility.
    I respect others rights to make their own decisions even if I dont understand them.

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years ago:

    And again from Facebook:
    Molly Carl Crites My mom had two cancers simultaneously…renal cell and endometrial…she was offered genetic testing but didn’t get it done. Selfishly I wanted her to so I would know my risk if there was one…

  • Profile picture of nancy meiser nancy meiser said 6 years ago:

    I would definitely want to know if I had the bad gene. It would be helpful to know so you can be proactive in gaining knowlege and learning how to possibly prevent the disease. It would be important to know what type of precautions to take. I would tell my family because I would want them to know if they had a possibility of developing the disease. It is better to know so that you can deal with it.

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years ago:

    Great report from National Public Radio on a family affected with multiple generations of breast cancer and how treatments have changed over time. If you get a chance to listen (it is 11 minutes) rather than read, it is far more powerful. Click the link below:

  • Profile picture of Kayla Dolan Kayla Dolan said 6 years ago:

    My mom having cervical cancer, my father have testicular cancer and a long line of cancer before them; as well as, myself being 24 and having had ovarian cancer i was extremely worried about my 16 year old sister. The first thought that came into my head when Dr Boulay had explained to me that my tumor was cancerous was thank god that it was me and not my sister however, after further deliberation i realized she wasnt out of the woods. She could have bad genes, just like i do. So when Dr Boulay had mentioned the option of genetic testing, i jumped on the opportunity. I would want everyone to be informed and know what to watch out for.