Zoraida Sambolin shares how she made her decision to have a double mastectomy.
I applaud your decision to take control over your own health, and to expanding on the public's awareness of the BRCA 1 and 2 gene in the wake of Angelina Jolie's revelation. However, I am extremely disappointed that you failed to mention the increased risk of ovarian cancer in women possessing this deleterious mutation. While the risk of breast cancer in a woman who is BRCA positive is as high as 87%, there is screening and early detection for breast cancer.
There is no sensitive and specific screening for ovarian cancer. There is also no cure for ovarian cancer. The risk of ovarian cancer in a women with a BRCA mutation is as high as 45%. Approximately 80% of ovarian cancer is detected in women at stage 3C to 4. Medicine has advanced in that women that respond favorably to chemotherapy can now live up to 8 years with the disease, significantly improved from when Gilda Radner was diagnosed. Unfortunately, she was the last celebrity to take the topic head on. It is unfortunate that the people that can educate the public most on the association between breast and ovarian cancer, chose to focus on breast cancer, which is a more sexual and appealing aspect and not on the warning symptoms associated with a terminal illness.
Best of luck to you in your recovery. I would be much more interested in following your journey to cancer prevention when you have a bilateral oophorectomy.
Sincerely, Lisa M. Armao, NP,
Women's Cancer Care Associates
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