BRCA Resources

If you're like me, then you are wanting MORE information and to reach out to others that understand what you're going through. Or you want to know more about Genetic testing. I hope this list will be helpful.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce tumor suppressor proteins. These proteins help repair damaged DNA and, therefore, play a role in ensuring the stability of the cell’s genetic material. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered, such that its protein product is not made or does not function correctly, DNA damage may not be repaired properly. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer. -national cancer institute

National Society of Genetic Counselors 
This website has a "find a genetic counselor tool." Most insurances will not even consider covering the cost of a BRCA1 or 2 test without you first meeting with a genetic counselor. 

BRCA Risk Calculator
This is a tool from Myriad (the lab that does all BRCA tests) to help determine if an individual might have a BRCA mutation. It is by no means the final answer and you should only view this is a guiding resource. The only way to determine if you actually have a BRCA mutation is to get tested!

BRCA1 and BRCA2: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing 
An informative fact sheet about the BRCA genes from the National Cancer Institute.
A comprehensive site including information about breast cancer treatment options, nutrition and exercise tips for breast cancer patients, suggestions for lowering an individual’s risk of being diagnosed, and more.

Bright Pink
Bright Pink is a non-profit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. The ladies at Bright Pink work hard to offer lots of resources catered to young, high-risk women. My favorite part of Bright Pink is the Pink Pals program, in which you are matched up with a mentor who has gone through a similar experience as you.

FORCE stands for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered and is an organization dedicated to supporting people dealing with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. FORCE has a community message board, and local chapters organize fun and informative events for members.

[Credit for help in pulling together this list is from a blog I've found 
very helpful called "Ticking Time Bombs Blog".]

Common BRCA Acronyms

BRCA: Breast Cancer {gene}

OC: Ovarian Cancer

PBM: Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy
IBM: Inflammatory Breast CancerPS: Plastic Surgeon
DIEP Flap: Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforators a type of breast reconstruction in which blood vessels (DIEP), and the skin and fat connected to them are removed from the lower abdomen and transferred to the chest to the chest to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy without the sacrifice of any of the abdominal muscles
BSO/LAVH: Bilateral Salpingo Oopherectomy/Laprascopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy
Oopherectomy: Removal of the Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes
PPC: Primary Peritoneal Cancer
Tamoxifen: currently used for the treatment of both early and advanced ER+ (estrogen receptor positive) breast cancer

(Some of these were very helpful for me.)

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HELLO....I appreciate you reading about me and my experience with BRCA1 and "everyday life". Thank you for taking the time to comment in the positive (but if you want to be negative I invite you to go read someone else's blog).