HOUSTON (FOX 26) – It’s important for women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer to consider taking the BRCA test which checks for mutations in two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2.
“It’s a life or death decision, it’s not something you ponder over too much,” said Nancy Jacobs who had her first stint with breast cancer at age 32. She underwent radiation and later was advised to take the BRCA test. The test checks for mutations in two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Since Jacobs already had breast cancer the test indicated the chances of a re-occurrence. A high score for her meant undergoing a double mastectomy.
Reconstruction surgery with breast implants can have a tremendous impact, and it’s done to improve body image and self-esteem.
“Our breasts as women are how we look at ourselves, it’s our femininity, it’s who we are in a way,” She said, “I can remember looking in the mirror the night before it happened and crying.”
But looking back now Nancy wishes she could’ve taken the test sooner and made the decision to remove her breasts earlier.
There are currently no standard criteria for referring anyone for genetic testing, but it’s recommended women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer also take it.
The test however costs about $3,000. If genetic testing is done earlier, it can help make a decision to remove the breasts early. However, the high cost of the test and difficulty in getting insurance coverage is a hindrance.
“In speaking with my colleagues, they have great difficulty grappling with some of the third-party insurance carriers to get the test covered,” said Dr. Rose. He has performed hundreds if not thousands of reconstructive surgeries on double mastectomy patients.
He is helping Jacobs with her reconstructive process, one he says can have a tremendous effect on how women feel about their bodies post-op.
“As it would relate to the psychological impact of reconstructive surgery, just body image and self-esteem are so much improved,” he said. Reconstruction surgery can have a tremendous impact on how women feel about their bodies after the surgery, and it’s done to improve body image and self-esteem.
ABOUT THE HOLLY ROSE RIBBON FOUNDATION: The non-profit was established in 2005 in honor of Holly Harwood Skolkin and now in her memory by Dr. Franklin Rose and Cindi Harwood Rose. The Holly Rose Ribbon Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that provides 100% free reconstructive surgery to uninsured post-cancer patients. The HRRF offers grief counseling, college scholarships, and more to cancer survivors or to those who have lost a parent to cancer, breast reconstructive surgeries at no cost to the survivor, and arts in medicine activities for children currently undergoing cancer treatment at area hospitals. During the nearly twenty-year history of the Foundation, there have been no salaries, both Cindi and her husband Franklin have volunteered their services and time to the organization as a whole. All funds collected through The Holly Rose Ribbon Foundation go towards the many costs associated with providing reconstructive surgery like nursing care, hospital stays, and anesthesiologist costs. If you or someone you know is a post-cancer patient who may benefit from the services of the Holly Rose Ribbon Foundation, please visit http://hollyroseribbon.com/