This is news that should have been delivered last week. My apologies again as I have been a busy little lady (not that it’s a bad problem to have!)
Last month my family and I met with the genetic counselor to discuss genetic testing. Though I have very little family history of cancer on my Dad’s side and none on my Mom’s side, the likelihood that the cause of my cancer is genetic is very slim. Regardless, it is something that we can rule out. To do so I provided a DNA sample to send out to a lab out west for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 test.
Why these genes? BRCA genes basically produce proteins that repairs damaged DNA. They have been described to me as “tumor suppressors”. If you have a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation, your body may not produce that specific protein or enough of it to protect the cell.
My BRCA testing came back negative for any mutations. Although the BRCA 1/2 tests are pretty comprehensive, it doesn’t account for all mutations therefore further testing is possible. Since this test came back negative, my insurance company will cover the BRCAnalysis Rearrangement Test, otherwise known as BART. This tests for genes that the BRCA 1/2 does not. My genetic counselor and I tend to think that it will also come back negative. There are tests out there beyond the BART that could look for other mutations but they are so new that they could only speculate what those mutations would mean. That being said, if the BART comes back negative I think I am going to pump the breaks on the testing.
Since (as far as we know) there are no BRCA mutations, the likelihood that my cancer was genetic is again slim. This means that my chances of developing breast cancer are not quite as high as they would be if I carried this genetic mutation. This is very good news.
So who knows why I developed cancer but at least we can cross one reason off the list.
In lighter news, I am running my first 5k since getting sick! I’ll be doing my second Color Me Rad race this coming Saturday in Seekonk. I may or may not have purchased pink sequined shorts and knee socks for the event. Though my endurance is pretty terrible after all of those months of ick, I know mentally that my body is capable of running 3.1 miles. Believing you can is half the battle.
Pictures to come!