With the news of the Angelina Jolie double mastectomy due to her high risk of developing breast cancer (she reportedly had an 87% risk, following genetic testing for the breast cancer gene, BRCA), there is a whole lot of talk about breast cancer facts — the gene, genetic testing, risk, prevention, treatment, and so on. Which, all in all, is a good thing.
But before you rush to get tested for the breast cancer gene or, rather the genetic mutation, you should discuss it at length with your doctor to see if it’s appropriate for you. Sure it’s just a blood test…but it’s an expensive one (to the tune of about $3,000) and it’s not often covered by health insurance. (You can check out the National Cancer Institute for more information on BRCA testing and your risk of cancer.)
We’ve been bombarded with news and talk of breast cancer over the last 24 hours or so…and it’s normal to be concerned about your risk. Cancer — of any kind — is scary. And rightly so. I admit, that upon hearing report after report of the Angelina Jolie mastectomy, I started wondering if I should have genetic testing done. That’s right. In less than 24 hours, I was already worried that I might be in the high risk category for breast cancer. For no apparent reason, mind you, but because it was all I’d heard, no matter what channel I turned on. Which is why I dialed back the paranoia and decided to educate myself a little more about breast cancer facts.
Knowledge is power. But be sure you know your breast cancer facts — like your family history, risky behaviors (as well as preventive tips) — before you panic. Raising awareness and educating about breast cancer is a righteous endeavor.