PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — October is breast cancer awareness and this morning we are learning about breast cancer “Pre-vivors.”
Technology in cancer prevention has come a long way and now there are genetic testing and other tools that can empower people to take action even before a diagnosis.
“In the breast cancer community, there are survivors like my mother battle who battled breast cancer twice and there are pre-vivors, people like me who proactively or preventatively took measures – I had double mastectomy – to ensure that I would not have to go through what my mother did,” said Meaghan B. Murphy, a magazine editor and author. “I lost my father to pancreatic cancer, every woman in my mother’s side of the family has battled cancer or is currently undergoing treatment.”
“My breast surgeon said to me, ‘we need a complete picture of your health here.’ and that’s when she recommended to me Invitae genetic testing, which is where I learned that I had a change in the DNA of my CHEK2 gene,” Murphy recalled. “Like [BRCA1 and BRCA2], a CHEK2 variation means that I was at a higher risk for breast cancer. And when I sat with a genetic counselor and looked at all of my factors, density, the family histories, this genetic variation, I realized by breast cancer risk was too high for comfort.”
“[Invitae] is really state of the art,” praised Murphy. “I’ve got this comprehensive picture of my total health. I no longer have to worry about if or when. I knew exactly what I was dealing with. I really got this complete picture my health and that was incredibly, incredibly empowering.”