Genetic Testing Results (BRCA1 and BRCA2)

I got my genetic test results back. Negative for any of the genes tied to a heredity predisposition for breast cancer. Including BRCA1 and BRCA2. While that is good news and I don't need to worry about passing this on to anyone, and my family members don't necessarily need to be more vigilant. I know I am supposed to be relieved about these results, I really do understand that. So, how come I'm slightly less than thrilled?

If this cancer wasn't caused by an inherited gene, then we're back to square one. And as much as I know that "everyone who gets cancer is a unique case, with individual circumstances and different lifestyles", I still feel an incredible amount of guilt.

My doctors have informed me that they still don't know exactly what causes people to get breast cancer. Because one person who lives a textbook healthy lifestyle can get it just as easily as someone with more lax choices. My Oncologist said there has been some correlation between longterm estrogen levels and the development of breast cancer. Because I did start my menstrual cycle at an early age (11) and didn't have any live births until 36, that means I had an extended period of time where my body was estrogen heavy with no progesterone to level me out. Add in the fact that I took hormonal (albeit low hormonal dosage) birth control pills for roughly 15 years and I've definitely been estrogen heavy. I also smoked for WAY too long and my eating choices have been total crap.

So, there you have it. Cancer guilt. That's where I'm at today while I wait for the results of the latest biopsy (lymph node biopsy).

1 comment

  1. No, no, no. . .you're "selecting" a few aspects of a big full life. . . a full life that includes exposure to so much crazy environmental crap. . . and to so much more than our own choices. . . our bodies are sponges to that which surrounds us, not just the things we choose. More importantly, doesn't GUILT seem like such a female trait?!?!. . . I feel like men would never do what we do. . they'd say "this sucks big balls," and leave it at that. They wouldn't assign blame, especially to themselves. I like that approach. Your body needs your love and tenderness right now, not your judgment for any past choices. . . treat your body the way you treat your babies. . .with love, unconditional love - no judgment. She will heal quicker with love.