In march of 2014 Kristin was tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation.
This didn’t come to a big surprise to Kristin as she had always thought she would die of cancer young. Both parents had been diagnosed with cancer at an early age, her mother at the age of 41 and her father at the age of 54. Her mother was lucky and her cancer was found early and was treatable, her father’s cancer was found too late and within 6 weeks from being diagnosed he passed away. Kristin was so certain that she would get cancer that when she started to date her husband she told him that they would not be able to grow old together because she would pass away from cancer at a young age.
At that time she had never heard of genetic testing and had no idea that she would years later be tested with the BRCA gene mutation.The day she found out she had been tested positive she decided that she was going to be a PREVIVOR and not a SURVIVOR! But it wasn’t enough for her only to be a previvor she wanted to be able to support others and started to advocate for genetic testing within the family as well as with friends that had a history of cancer in their family. Believing that knowledge is powerful, with the right knowledge you can take a informed decision of your future health.
When Kristin was first informed about her BRCA2 gene mutation she did what all people do, she opened her computer and she „googled“ everything she could about this gene mutation. However, she saw very quickly that the information online was not always accurate and that many headlines didn’t even have research to back up their claims. She felt very much alone and had no idea what all this information meant to her and her family, knowing that each of her four children had a 50% chance of carrying the gene mutation.
One of the best resources that Kristin found was FORCE, their mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families that are affected by hereditary breast, ovarian, and related cancers. There she was able to connect with other individuals that where going through the same things that she was going through. Below are links to groups that provide valuable scientifically based help.
Making sense of Cancer Headlines
It can often be very confusing to figure out what the media is trying to communicate to readers when publishing articles, headlines often don´t even match the research that is behind the article. FORCE’s XRAYS program is a reliable resource for young breast cancer survivors and high-risk women to navigate through breast cancer research related news and information. XRAYS will provide reviews and ratings of news media articles on breast cancer research to help young breast cancer survivors and previvors better understand research that is relevant to them.