Why do some BRCA women escape breast cancer?
I inherited my BRCA mutation from my father who inherited it from his mother. This was confirmed when I had my genetic test which determined I had the exact same mutation as my father’s cousins on his mother’s side. So how did my grandmother make it to nearly 70 without breast, ovarian or any other cancer? Was it simply luck that she beat the odds? After all, you only have an 87% lifetime risk of breast cancer so there is still a very small chance that you can live a long life without ever developing the disease? And sure ovarian cancer is a smaller risk but still significant.
Hmmm, my grandmother was a heavy smoker, worked in a photography studio with lots of chemicals, ate poorly, was always overweight and went 30 years without going to a dentist. Was this the key? And me, I’m not perfect but I certainly took care of myself, like most of the young woman I know who have battled this disease. So scientists and researchers are looking into this specific issue. Why have some Ashkenazi Jewish women with the BRCA mutation managed to escape this disease? If they can find answers to these questions, they can begin to figure out how to prevent cancer (outside of the more drastic preventative measures available today) in women with a BRCA mutation.