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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

“A mom finding out from her son, instead of the other way around.”

Diane Farley’s son spontaneously taking a Geisinger My Code saliva test two years ago. Led to a discovery she wasn’t expecting.

“I was surprised because it just wasn’t on my radar.”

The research database revealing a gene mutation. Putting her and her son at higher risk of contracting cancer.

“Individuals that are identified to have BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene changes have what we call hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, there’s been a change in a gene that’s inherited through the family that’s increasing someone’s risk.”

For men like Farley’s son the heightened risk is in male breast cancer and prostate cancer small risks for pancreatic cancer and melanoma, but, for women like farley the risk lies in ovarian and breast cancer.

“Breast cancer in general happens in about 8 to 12 percent of women, one in 10 of us will develop breast cancer in our lives.”

Survival rate depends on cancer type and early detection Miranda Holequist encouraging women, and men to get screened.

“One rule of thumb is to start 10 years earlier than the youngest diagnoses in the family, so if you have a family member diagnosed with breast cancer at 45, your screening should start at age 35 if that person’s a close relative.”

But for individuals with BRCA 1 and 2 gene changes research shows the hereditary risk of breast cancer can be somewhere between 45 and 50 percent higher.

“Instead of just my annual mammogram, because I’m high risk, we alternate a mammogram and an MRI every six months.”

Farley stresses if you’re at higher risk, the MRI adds a layer of protection already proven true for her own case, now actively watching a small cyst. Which was only detected through the MRI. She and her doctors monitoring it. Before posing a threat.

“The earlier the better to detect any type of cancer.”

 

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