Hi, I have just joined this group after recently being diagnosed with breast cancer for the 2nd time. I first had breast cancer in 2003 aged 49, I had a mastectomy and I asked for genetic testing. My reason for wanting the test was that my sister also had breast cancer but unfortunately, she died from it aged 35 leaving 3 little girls aged 7, 4 and 19 months, a first cousin also had it and my paternal grandmother. I was concerned it was hereditary because of the girls and also my own son. It was about 18 months later when I got the test results, I was told that although I did not have BRAC1 or BRAC2 the cancer may still be hereditary because there may be a gene that had not yet been identified. Sixteen years later a letter arrived from the Genetics clinic telling me that a new breast cancer gene had been identified, PAL2B and I had it. I arranged to see a counsellor and it was all explained to me and I contacted any family members who I though could be affected, a couple of cousins took the test and fortunately neither had the gene, my nieces , as yet, have not been tested, they are all adults. I was not too surprised by the news that the breast cancer was hereditary, my Mom also had it in 2003. I had my 3 year mammogram in November and it came back asking me to go for more tests, I had another mammogram, ultrasound and core biopsy, I got the results of these on 17 December. I have grade 3 cancer in my remaining breast. My consultant said I can have a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy, the ultrasound did not show any signs of cancer in lymph nodes so didn’t think I would need chemo. I think I would prefer a mastectomy. I asked the consultant if I could have my treatment at the hospital where I had my previous treatment (moved house and got sent to a different hospital) no disrespect to where I got my results but would just feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings. This has been arranged and I have an appointment with a consultant there on Monday morning. I shall discuss having a mastectomy with him even though the other consultant assured me that a lumpectomy is just as good. My sister had a lumpectomy 30 years ago with no immediate follow up treatment and within 16 months she died because the cancer spread so quickly and finally went to her brain. I know breast cancer treatment is so much better now but I think I would feel safer with the whole thing removed. I do admit I am shocked that I have it again after so long and think it was so strange that I only had the letter about the PAL2B gene a few months previously, it was almost like a warning not to get too complacent.
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