The BRCA Genes and Breast Cancer: Facts to Help Save Lives

brca facts and infographic

There's a lot of buzz around the BRCA genes. If you follow what happened with Angelina Jolie-Pitt, you know she helped bring these genes and their mutation to the forefront of cancer conversations. At the same time that I was diagnosed with breast cancer, Angelina Jolie made public the information that she had a mutated BRCA gene, which is inherited. She had a double mastectomy to prevent getting breast cancer. It turns out that I also have a BRCA gene mutation. I didn't know until after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Unlike Angelina Jolie, I got my double mastectomy after chemotherapy that caused a host of side effects I will live with for the rest of my life. 

It's good we are now identifying cancer gene mutations like the BRCA gene which puts people at higher risk for breast cancer and other cancers. Some twenty years ago, these gene mutations were just being discovered and linked with breast cancer. It's also important for you to understand the BRCA gene and your risk of a mutation because it's not all that rare. 

What is a BRCA gene mutation and why do people with it have higher breast cancer risk?

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I've created an infographic to really help explain what these BRCA mutated genes are and how they can affect you.

Most people that have a breast cancer mutation gene don't know that they have it.

I didn't. If I had known, I may have avoided getting breast cancer. If you want more information, you can visit FORCE, an organization that helped support me as I faced my own cancer diagnosis and treatments. 

Large BRCA gene11-6-01