Angelina Jolie recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Times describing the impact breast cancer has had in her life. Angelina Jolie is a carrier of a gene mutation known as BRCA 1. Carriers of this gene mutation have an 80% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. The only known prevention is double mastectomy.
BRCA 1 and 2 genes are normal genes found in the body. The typical role of these genes is to keep DNA stable and prevent cells from growing out of control, or mutating. Mutations of either BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes can lead to loss of cell control and the development of various cancers, among which breast and ovarian cancers are most prevalent.
After a recent conversation with a friend who asked me the probabilities of a breast cancer survivor having children post chemotherapy, I thought a lot this weekend about an article from 2008 in Women & Cancer magazine. For my friend, and all the women who are cancer survivors, I wanted to re-post this article and feature it as my blog topic this week.
The article is the journey one of my patients took as she faced breast cancer, and she chose to preserve her fertility via egg freezing. The article can also be found at CancerConsultants.com, after a Q&A about fertility options for women facing cancer.