Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Family Stories

Sarah’s Story

As a 36-year-old with no family history of breast cancer, I didn’t worry initially when my primary care doctor felt a lump in my breast, but told me not to worry about it because it was probably nothing. He sent me for a mammogram (my first ever), then an ultrasound because they didn’t like the mammography results, and then a biopsy because they didn’t like the ultrasound results. Now I was worried. And I found out a few days later I had reason to be – it was cancer…

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Elissa’s Story

When I was 20, my parents came to see me unexpectedly at college. They told me that my mom had stage 2 breast cancer and was going to be having a mastectomy and chemotherapy in the coming months. I was scared for her and I was scared of losing her. My mom, my rock, was sick. She was the one who was always there for me, taking care of me, and now I had to watch her go through the process of surgery and treatment. The fighter that she is, she made it through with flying colors! Twenty years later, my mom is healthy and cancer free. At the age of 20, you don’t really think cancer can happen to you but it was always in the back of my mind and I found myself constantly wondering, “What if?”…

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