Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBT+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Genetic Test Results Letter

This entry is part 24 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

I received the letter from the genetic counselor a couple weeks ago, but it got lost in the detritus of my writing life on the right-hand extension of my desk, which I cleaned up today. Since I promised a more detailed explanation of my genetic test results when I received the letter, that’s what I’m doing today.

Essentially, the results haven’t changed. I now have proof neither BRCA1 nor BRCA2 have deleterious mutations. From what I can see, they don’t have any mutations at all, which is a relief. Part of the reason for the concern is that mutations in either of these genes can cause other types of cancers in men and women. If there had been mutations, I’d have to have at least a partial hysterectomy in addition to a full double mastectomy to prevent future cancer in my breasts and ovaries (for men, it would include the prostate), but there would be no way to effectively prevent the other type of cancer: pancreatic.

According to the letter, approximately 230,000 females and 2,200 males are newly diagnosed with breast cancer each year. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of a lifetime and it is the most common malignancy among women in developed countries. The letter also says that family history is the best way of determining whether or not one is at risk for breast cancer and that hereditary breast cancer tends to occur earlier in life than cases like mine, which is termed “non-inherited sporadic.” It is apparently rather rare for someone who has no genetic mutations or family history of breast cancer to develop it at my age; the year of my 40th birthday, which is in November. Other factors which may have some influence over developing breast cancer are “age, gender, reproductive history, alcohol abuse, and radiation exposure.”

The letter goes on to describe method of gene extraction and testing. I understand most of the words on an individual basis, but taken together, they’re rather overwhelming to me at the moment. I’ve never had a very good comprehension of science. LOL

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1 Comment

  1. Hooray for not having deleterious mutations!

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