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Breast cancer gene testing giving more women options for preventative care

By Marcie Fraser, originally published on Your News Now

When Angelina Jolie tested positive for the gene that causes cancer, she had both of her breasts removed. Her public announcement made an impact on women all over the world.

"We are BRCA-1 positive is which is more severe of the two. It gives you an 87 percent chance of developing one of those types of cancer in your lifetime," said Andrea Macy, Prophylactic Double Mastectomy Patient.

Of Andrea Macy's five sisters, four tested positive for the gene.

"My mother died at age fifty one from ovarian cancer and her second sister had uterine cancer in her early forties and died. My number three passed away when she was 36 with a diagnosis of breast cancer at age 35," said Macy.

Watching her sister die at 36 years old and leaving a family behind, Andrea did something before she got cancer. Along with a hysterectomy, she had a prophylactic mastectomy.

"The thought of having a mastectomy you are do the mastectomy to remove all of the breast tissue so that you are decreasing your risk of developing breast cancer," said Dr. Susan Gannon, Plastic Surgeon.

She reduced her odds of getting cancer from 87 percent down to two percent. Once her breast tissue was removed, it was tested to see if there were any cancer cells present.

"The biggest relief was ten days after that surgery when all the tissue sample came back as negative. You can't explain the wall of serenity that surrounded me," said Macy.

Being tested for the BRCA gene is a personal decision. If you have been tested and you are positive, Andrea Macy has this message.

"To not be afraid and to be proactive because in this situation, I firmly believe that it is much better to be proactive than it is to be reactive and that I feel I am living proof that you can deal with this adversity and you can make these changes and go through his process and everything can be fine and have a happy healthy life," said Macy.

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